SYDNEY – Australia’s Labor Party will form the country’s next government on Monday as unprecedented support for greens and climate-centric independence ends nearly a decade of conservative coalition rule.
The center-left Labor 151-seat lower house has four to five seats less than the 76-seat majority, with nearly a dozen constituencies very close to calling, television channels reported Sunday. To return to power for the first time since 2013, Labor may need the support of independent and smaller parties.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese has said he will be sworn in as the 31st prime minister on Monday, along with four senior party members, before heading to Tokyo on Tuesday to attend a “quad” summit with US President Joe Biden and the prime ministers of Japan and India. .
“I want to change the country. I want to change the way politics is conducted in this country, “Albanese told reporters after leaving a cafe in his Sydney suburb, where he was seen posing for pictures with supporters.
Several world leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and neighboring New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, have congratulated Albany on his victory.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party was toppled by independents in several urban strongholds, mostly women, who campaigned for more action on climate change, integrity and gender equality. Individual and strong demonstrations from the Greens have also eaten away at the Labor vote in many constituencies.
Mark Richardson, a voter in Sydney’s Wentworth constituency, told Reuters: “I think maybe now is the time for us to do something different, and if we can take action on climate change, it will be very exciting.” Wentworth has snatched one of the traditional Liberal seats in this election.
Morrison, who will step down as Liberal Party leader, was shown in TV footage of his church on Sunday morning.
You have given us a great foundation from which we can walk যা (which) has been a very difficult walk… in the last four years or so, ”said Morrison, one of the visually impaired worshipers.
Record postal votes
The official results could take several days, with a record 2.7 million postal vote counts set to begin on Sunday afternoon, two days before the next election.
If a hung parliament were to emerge, the Independents would attach considerable importance to the formulation of government policy on climate change and the formation of a National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Labor deputy leader Richard Marles said the party could still get enough seats to rule on its own.
“I think something has to be counted, and we are hopeful that we will be able to gain a majority in our own right,” Marles told ABC Television.
Bernabe Joyce, the Liberals’ junior partner and leader of the National Party, said Australia needed a “strong government” that should be supported and taken into account.
“So you have to move from a good government to a good opposition party,” Joyce told Sky News on Sunday. (Reporting by Renju Jose and Jill Graelo in Sydney; Editing by Lincoln Feast and William Mallard)