Australia’s conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised “quiet Australians” for delivering his party a “miracle” election victory on Saturday after his Labor challenger conceded defeat.
Morrison had entered the election as an underdog, but after a hard-fought campaign defied the odds to extend the Liberal-National coalition’s six-year rule.
“I have always believed in miracles!” he told jubilant supporters in Sydney. “How good is Australia!”?
Australian election favourite Bill Shorten conceded defeat after his defeat in national polls on Saturday, saying he would resign as party leader.
“It is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government”, Shorten told disbelieving supporters in Melbourne.
“In the national interest, a short while ago I called (Liberal leader, Prime Minister) Scott Morrison to congratulate him,” he said.
Earlier, National broadcaster ABC called the election for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s coalition.
The Liberal Party-led coalition seemed on track to win at least 73 seats and the opposition Labor Party at least 65 seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.
The close result from Saturday’s election raises the prospect of the coalition forming a minority government.
Pre-election opinion polls had suggested that the coalition would lose its bid for a third three-year term, and that Morrison would have had one of the shortest tenures as prime minister in the 118-year history of the Australian federation.
Morrison is the conservatives’ third prime minister since they were first elected in 2013. He replaced Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership ballot of government colleagues in August. (Courtesy TRT World)