Oz PM stuns exit pollsters, romps towards majority
Melbourne: Australia’s ruling conservative coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday made a “miraculous” comeback and is set to form the next government after winning most number of seats in the elections, defying exit polls which predicted a victory for the opposition Labor Party. Australians Saturday voted to elect their next parliament and prime minister, in what has been widely referred to as the climate-change election. 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. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportA Nine-Galaxy poll released shortly before the voting stations closed in the east of the country showed a victory for the centre-left Labor party and Liberal Party-led coalition losing its bid for a third three-year term. The poll showed the Labor winning as many as 82 seats in the 151-member House of Representatives, beating the governing Liberal coalition. On Friday, media reports also endorsed Labor Party leader Bill Shorten as the best chance to end a “cycle of instability” in Australian politics. Also Read – Iraq military admits ‘excessive force’ used in deadly protestsTo win a majority in the House of Representatives, either major party will need 76 seats. The Coalition currently holds 73 seats, while Labor has 72. Morrison cast his vote at Lilli Pilli Public School in Sydney while Shorten in Melbourne. Defying the exit polls, the early counting recorded a swing in favour of the ruling coalition, which so far won 74 seats, paving the way for Morrison to become the country’s 31st prime minister. Opposition Labor Party won 65 seats during the ongoing counting of votes. Following this, Shorten conceded defeat and said he would resign as the party leader. Addressing his disbelieving supports here, he said “Without wanting to hold out any false hope, while there are still millions of votes to count and important seats yet to be finalised, it is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government. “I called Scott Morrison to congratulate him… wished him good fortune and good courage in the service of our great nation. The national interest required no less,” Shorten said. So far, it is not clear whether the Coalition will govern in majority or will need partnership of independent MPs in a minority.