Scott Morrison and the Liberal/National Coalition have won a shocking election victory, defying years of opinion polling and political analysis.
Mr Morrison himself acknowledged the victory as surprising, saying that “I have always believed in miracles,”
While there was some early doubt, it appears that the Coalition will secure enough seats to form a majority government rather than rely on cooperation with independent MP’s.
In his victory speech, the continuing Prime Minister said that “Tonight is not about me, it’s not even about the Liberal Party.”
“Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first.”
Mr Morrison will now need to elect a new cabinet after high profile party members like Julie Bishop, Kelly O’Dwyer and Christopher Pyne left in the lead up to the election. Some in the Liberal party have attacked the retiring frontbenchers for giving up on a winnable election.
Meanwhile, the Labor party and its supporters are still reeling from the defeat with a mixture of shock and disbelief. With opinion polls consistently showing a likely Labor victory in the lead up to the election, and a mixture of leadership instability within the Liberal party (namely the ousting of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull), Bill Shorten was confident in being able to form a majority government with his party.
With the defeat, Mr Shorten has stepped down as the Labor leader, but not before using his concession speech to criticise Coalition preference deals with the United Australia Party and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation which he says, “hurt out vote in a lot of places where it mattered most, particularly in Queensland and NSW”.
He added that he was “disappointed for people who depend on Labor but I’m proud we argued what was right, not what was easy.”