Australia’s new PM pledges to unite country after Scott Morrison concedes defeat

World

Australia’s opposition Labor Party has won power for the first time since 2007, after Scott Morrison conceded defeat of the ruling conservatives.

The party’s leader, Anthony Albanese, is to become prime minister after Mr Morrison’s conservative Liberal Party failed to win the minimum 76 seats needed for a majority in the 151-seat parliament.

Labor has secured 72 seats, but may have to rely on the support of smaller independent parties to form a government, including the Greens or so-called “teal independents”, who campaigned on policies of integrity, equality
and tackling climate change.

Final results could take some time as counting of a record number of postal votes is completed.

As Labor focused on spiking inflation and sluggish wage growth, Mr Morrison made the country’s lowest unemployment in almost half a century the centrepiece of his campaign’s final hours.

Conceding defeat in Sydney, he said: “Tonight I have spoken to the leader of the opposition and the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and I’ve congratulated him on his election victory this evening.”

Morrison also said he would stand down as leader of the Liberal party.

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The capitulation ends eight years and nine months in power for his conservative coalition.

Mr Morrison became prime minister in 2018 after several leadership changes.

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