Canberra, July 3 (IANS) Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull says he is confident he can form a government after Saturday’s election, but results are still too close to call.
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
The leader of the Liberal-National coalition needs to win 76 out of 150 lower house seats to form a ruling majority. With about half the votes counted, results suggest a very close contest, BBC reported.
Addressing supporters, Malcolm Turnbull tried to make tonight sound like a victory. But at best his Conservative coalition lost ground.
He said he was confident he would be able to form a majority government but he acknowledged the result was so close it could be days before we know the outcome.
Meanwhil, Labor Party Leader Bill Shorten was sounding upbeat telling his supporters Labor was back, even though he will most likely end up defeated.
Shorten said the close result was a vindication of his Labor Party’s policies. Labor has improved strongly on its 2013 election result of 55 lower house seats.
“There is one thing for sure — the Labor Party is back,” he said.
Shorten is currently 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.
All 150 seats in Australia’s lower house, the House of Representatives, are up for grabs at the election, as are 76 seats in Australia’s upper house, the Senate.
It is the first time in decades that all the seats in both houses have been up for election.
The double-dissolution election, as it is known, was called by Turnbull in an attempt to break a deadlock over industrial relations legislation.
“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.