The Australian Labor Party will form the country’s new federal government tomorrow, Monday, as unprecedented support from the Greens and independent environmentalists helped end almost a decade of Conservative rule.
The center-left Labor Party remained four to five seats below the majority in the House of Commons (about 72, while it needs 76 of 151) with about ten seats left to be judged on the thread, according to Australian television network ABC News.
He may therefore need the support of independent or smaller parties to return to power for the first time since 2013.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has announced that he will be sworn in as the 31st prime minister tomorrow, Monday, before leaving for Tokyo to attend a Quad summit on Tuesday, along with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishinda.
“I want to change the country. I want to change the politics in this country,” Mr Albanezi told reporters in a Sydney suburb.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern were among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Mr Albanese on his victory, with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken joining them today.
Outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party leaders have been defeated in their traditional strongholds by independent candidates – mostly women – who have campaigned for action on climate change, gender equality and integrity. The independents and the good performance of the Greens also reduced the percentages of Labor.
Mr Morrison, who will step down as leader of the Liberal Party, spoke to church members and supporters today. “You have given us a great foundation to walk (…) a very difficult road (…) for the last almost four years,” he said, looking excited.
The final official results may not be announced until several days have passed. The counting of 2.7 million letter votes – this is a record number – will begin this afternoon.
If no party has a majority in the next House of Representatives, independents will be able to influence the new government’s policies, especially on climate change and the creation of a national anti-corruption commission.
Labor leader Richard Marls, however, voiced hope that Labor would eventually secure a sufficient number of seats to govern on its own.
Barnaby Joyce, the leader of the National Liberal Party’s outgoing partner in the outgoing Liberal government, said the country needed a “strong government” that needed to be supported and held accountable. “So we have to become a good opposition from a good government,” Joyce told Sky News.