Australia's conservative coalition poised to secure outright parliamentary majority

Elias Hubbard
May 20, 2019

With 74 percent of the vote counted, the coalition of the National and Liberal parties led by incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison wins the elections.

After five weeks long election campaigning across the country, around 16 million Australians swarmed to the polling booths across the country to elect the nation's 31st prime minister.

It was not clear if 51-year-old Morrison will require the support of independent MPs to govern. Despite heated opposition from environmentalists, the coalition was set to pick up two seats in the state. His wife, Jenny Morrison, suffered endometriosis.

Morrison called his party's victory a "miracle" and thanked the "quiet Australians" for it. "I have always believed in miracles", he told his supporters in Sydney.

A jubilant Morrison hugged community members after an early Sunday service at the Horizon Church in Sydney's southern suburbs, from where he was first elected to Parliament in 2007.

"I think we will need to think about what that means for our country, if there are a substantial number of seats that end up going to a particular political party because there is a deal with a man like Mr Palmer or Pauline Hanson", Senator Wong said.

Morrison's coalition defied expectations by holding onto a string of outer suburban seats in areas where demographics closest resemble America's Rust Belt, blocking Labor's strongest path to victory. He also promised funds for women's career initiative and domestic violence and conservative plans to deal with climate change. It went into the election as a minority government, with just 73 seats.

Mr Morrison's landmark achievement has up-ended nearly all commentators' predictions, proving polls and general consensus are not always correct, following a pattern of recent global surprises - including the UK's Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as US President.

"Congratulations to Scott on a GREAT WIN", U.S. President Donald Trump said on Twitter.

"At the moment, it's looking very strongly like the Morrison government will be returned", said Australian Broadcasting Association chief election analyst Antony Green.

"Prime Minister Morrison and the Liberal Party have shown that great campaigns, policies and people matter", says Simon.

Howard said Shorten had made a "terrible mistake" by falling back on the language of class.

Mr Morrison retained power in a stunning, "miracle" upset on Saturday despite his Liberal Party consistently trailing in the polls and betting markets.

The poll showed the Labor winning as many as 82 seats, beating the ruling Coalition.

Opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten speaks to the media after casting his vote at a school in Melbourne on Saturday.

Former prime minister John Howard said Mr Morrison "deserves the overwhelming gratitude of the Liberals all around the country". He then flew 900 kilometres home to Sydney to vote and to campaign in Sydney seats. According to last week's Newspoll survey, even though Labor took the swing in its favour, the leader approval rating favoured Morrison with 45 per cent saying he would make a better prime minister as compared to Shorten.

Australia has mandatory voting and a record 16.4 million voters enrolled for the election, which returns a new House of Representatives and just over half of the seats in the Senate.

The Prime Minister repeatedly emphasised the Coalition's strength on the economy, promising income tax cuts and lower bills while playing down the threat of climate change. Abbott was replaced by Turnbull the next year because of poor opinion polling, but he remained a government lawmaker.

Labor campaigned on a platform of reducing inequality through tax reform, higher wages, better public infrastructure and faster action on climate change but Shorten, a former union leader, was never seen as a popular leader.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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