Opposition leader Bill Shorten conceded defeat to Malcolm Turnbull and his right-wing Coalition.
Australian Labor Party Leader Bill Shorten conceded defeat Sunday to his rival, Coalition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, a week after the country went to the polls in a snap election.
“Whilst counting has not concluded in a number of very close seats, it is clear that Mr. Turnbull and his Coalition will form a government,” said Shorten in a press conference Sunday afternoon.
“I have spoken to Mr Turnbull early this afternoon to congratulate him and Lucy, and to wish them my very best,” he added.
Turnbull’s Coalition is expected to win 74 seats, just short of an outright majority, and will likely require the support of independents in order to pass legislation.
Shorten added that he would work constructively with the Turnbull government “where there is common ground” but promised that Labour would “stick true to its core values, its and promises and beliefs” and specifically said he intended to defend Australia’s Medicare from cuts.
The Labor leader expressed displeasure with the slow pace of vote-counting and said he would work to implement electronic voting.
Whilst the Coalition will form government, Turnbull will have to deal with ideological divisions within his party, as well as a hostile upper house, which has the potential to the block legislation from the lower house.
Turnbull’s early-election gamble, to clear the Senate of what he saw as obstructive minor parties, backfired badly with a much bigger swing to the center-left Labor opposition than expected and wins for Greens representatives and independents in both houses.