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Australia Election: Malcolm Turnbull Snatches Victory After Rival Concedes

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

More than a week after one of the closest and longest Australian national elections in half a century, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared victory on Sunday after the leader of the opposition Labor Party conceded defeat.

“We have won the election,” Mr. Turnbull, the leader of the Liberal Party-led conservative coalition, said at a news conference on Sunday.

The Australian Electoral Commission has forecast that the coalition could win a combined 76 seats, which would give it an absolute majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives. Two independent members of the House have also pledged their support to the coalition, solidifying its chances of forming a government.

“It is clear Mr. Turnbull and his coalition will form a government,” Bill Shorten, the Labor Party leader, said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon. “I hope they run a good government.”

After an eight-week election campaign that ended July 2, neither the Labor Party nor the conservative coalition, which defeated the Labor government in the last national election in 2013, wanted to concede defeat amid uncertainty over whether either side would win a critical number of seats.

The Labor Party is forecast to take 69 seats in the House. The Greens are forecast to have won one, other parties, including independents, four. The electoral commission is expected to give the final results of the election around July 15.

In government, the coalition will have to deal with a fractious upper house, the Senate. The balance of power in the Senate is likely to be held by a diverse group of left- and right-wing independents and minority parties that may block legislation passed in the House. As a result, some political analysts said they expected another national election to be called by the coalition before its latest three-year term ends.

“It is vital this Parliament work,” Mr. Turnbull said.


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Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field