Scott Morrison declares victory in tight Australia election
Addis Ababa, May 18, 2019 (FBC) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared victory in the country’s federal elections after his Liberal-National coalition defied the polls and secured a surprise win over the opposition Labor Party.
Morrison, who had campaigned on providing tax cuts and the enduring resilience of Australia’s economy, claimed the win shortly after Labor’s Bill Shorten conceded defeat on Saturday.
Thanking supporters at a party in Sydney, Morrison said: “I have always believed in miracles.”
While the Liberal-led conservative coalition scored more seats in the House of Representatives than Labor, it was unclear whether they won an outright majority of 76 seats or if they will need to negotiate with the cross bench to form a minority government.
Projections by the Australian Electoral Commission showed the ruling coalition winning 67 seats to Labor’s 55.
Shorten, speaking to party supporters in Melbourne, conceded defeat saying it was “obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government”.
The opposition leader said he had called Morrison to offer congratulations.
He also said he would not contest Labor’s next vote for party leader, and urged supporters to “carry on the fight”.
Australia has had six changes of prime minister over the past 12 years – mostly the result of internal party fights. Shorten had sold his party as a chance to escape the “chaos” of the ruling coalition and to create a fairer Australia.