Scott Morrison has pulled off a stuning election victory, defying the polls and betting markets to return the Coalition to Government.
Mr Morrison declared the victory a “miracle” in front of chanting Liberal supporters in Sydney.
Despite all predictions of a Labor win, the Opposition failed to make the gains it needed to snatch Government.
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The Coalition looks to have secured 74 seats, still two short of the 76 needed to form a majority Government.
But with six seats still in doubt it remains confident of being able to govern in its own right.
Labor has secured 65 seats with independents winning six seats.
The Liberal Party went into the election needing to hang onto all its seats and win a handful.
Scott Morrison’s frequent visits to Tasmania has paid off, with the Liberal Party winning the seats of Bass and Braddon.
In Queensland it picked up Longman and Herbert while in New South Wales it won back the western Sydney seat of Lindsay.
Labor picked up the New South Wales seat of Gilmore from the Liberal Party with star candidate Warren Mundine failing in his bid to enter Parliament.
The only other seat confirmed to have fallen is Warringah, with Zali Steggall ending Tony Abbott’s 25-year political career.
Nationwide, the Coalition has secured 41.6% of the vote with Labor only managing to get 33.3%.
The Greens vote remained steady at 10.5% while One Nation’s vote was up 1.7% to 3%.
The United Australia Party recorded 3.4% of the primary vote, despite Clive Palmer’s huge advertising spend.
“HOW GOOD IS AUSTRALIA?” – MORRISON CLAIMS VICTORY
Scott Morrison delivered a rousing victory speech at the Liberal Party’s headquarters in Sydney.
Flanked by wife Jenny and their two daughters, Mr Morrison was swamped by Liberal supporters as he arrived at the party’s headquarters to chants of “Scomo, Scomo”.
“I have always believed in miracles. I’m standing with the three biggest miracles in my life tonight.
“And tonight we’ve been delivered another one,” Mr Morrison declared.
“How good is Australia and and how good are Australians?”
Mr Morrison says the victory was for the hard working Australians with dreams and aspirations.
“Tonight is not about me and it’s not about the Liberal Party. It’s about every single Australian that depends on their government to put them first.
“And friends, that is exactly what we are going to do, that is my undertaking to you.
— ABC News (@abcnews) May 18, 2019
“CARRY ON THE FIGHT” – SHORTEN STANDS DOWN
Bill Shorten did not hide his disappointment as he conceded defeat in front of shattered Labor supporters in Melbourne.
Mr Shorten confirmed that, after leading the party to two election losses, he would not recontest the Labor leadership but intended to remain in Parliament.
“To Australians that supported Labor, I know that you’re all hurting and I am too. And without wanting to hold any false hope, while there is still millions of votes to count, it is obvious Labor will not be able to form government.
“This has been a tough campain, toxic at times, but now that the contest is over all of us have a responsibilty to respect the results and the wishes of the Australian people and bring our nation together.”
Mr Shorten finished his concession speech by urging his party to “carry on the fight.”
“Our time will come, count upon that.”
— ABC News (@abcnews) May 18, 2019
QUEENSLAND’S KICK FOR LABOR
Queensland was set to be one of the key election battlegrounds with several LNP seats in danger.
But instead of picking up seats, Labor has gone backwards in the Sunshine State, losing the seats of Longman and Herbert to the LNP.
The LNP’s primary vote in Queensland was steady at 43.8% but Labor’s fell 3.5%.
The Coalition recorded huge swings in Forde, Capricornia, Dawson, Flynn and Petrie, seats that were in trouble.
Peter Dutton increased his margin in the seat of Dickson despite a strong campaign to try and kick him out of office.
The LNP also came close in the safe Labor seats of Blair and Lilley.
Support for the Greens in Queensland was up 1.6% to 10.4% while One Nation’s primary vote increased by 3.2% to 8.8%.
The United Australia Party secured 3.4% of the primary vote.
VOTERS GIVE TONY ABBOTT THE BOOT
A concerted campaign to unseat former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has succeeded with independent Zali Steggall claiming a dramatic victory in the seat of Warringah.
With 78% of the vote counted, Steggall had secured 58% of the two-candidate vote, representing a 19% swing against Mr Abbott.
Mr Abbott was gracious as he conceded defeat, bringing an end to his 25-year political career.
“I can’t say that it doesn’t hurt to lose, but I decided back then that if I had to lose so be it, but I’d rather be a loser than a quitter,” he told supporters in Sydney.
“It’s often said all public lives end badly but I’m certainly not going to let one bad day spoil 25 great years.
.@TonyAbbottMHR: We've got good news and bad news tonight, but I want to focus on the good news. The good news is there is every chance the Liberal/National Party has won the election.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) May 18, 2019
Despite the brusing campaign, Steggall paid tribute to Abbott as she claimed victory.
“Tonight, Warringah has definitely voted for the future and you all showed that when communities want changem they make it happen,” Steggall decared.
“I would like to pay tribute to Tony Abbott who has been a dedicated and long-serving local member.
“Nobody can doubt his community spirit, his work ethic and his contribution and I wish him well.”
CLIVE DOES HIS DOUGH
Despite spending a reported $60 million on his election campaign, Clive Palmer has proved money can’t buy you votes.
His United Australia Party failed to make to much of an impact across the country securing just 3.4% of the primary vote in the House of Representatives.
And Mr Palmer’s hopes of securing a Senate seat appear dashed.
UAP has only secured 3.3% of the Senate vote in Queensland or 0.23 of the required quota for a Senate seat.
UAP is on track to miss out on a Senate seat in each State and Territory.
But Mr Palmer was taking some of the credit for the Coalition’s victory.
“The goal for the United Australia Party was to ensure the Labor Government did not get into power, introducing more than $1 trillion of new taxes,” Mr Palmer said in a statement.
“This has been achieved with the collective effort from the United Australia Party.”