Australian Labor Party leads by small margin

Sydney, July 2 (IANS) Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten is enjoying a slight lead over the Liberal-National coalition of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with nearly 70 per cent of votes counted in general elections held in Australia on Saturday.

With 69.64 per cent of votes counted, Labor has so far won 66 seats, while the ruling coalition has 63 out of the 150 federal parliamentary seats, Efe news reported.

To form a government alone, the winner needs at least 76 seats, according to the Australian Electoral Commission.

“At this point, the results are not clear. We see a turn that might not be enough to defeat the government, but we also see the Labor Party won seats,” said analyst Antony Green, as cited by state-owned broadcaster ABC.

Labor candidate Linda Burney has also become the first indigenous woman to win a seat in the lower house, according to Channel 7 television.

A total of 57 political and independent formations are presented in these elections, with more than 994 candidates for the House and 661 candidates for the 76-seat Senate.

The Senate, which is being completely renewed after being dissolved on May 9 this year, is key to support the next government.

–IANS

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