POLITICS

Vote Count Continues To Drag On Eight Days After The Election

More than a week later and we're still waiting for a winner.

09/07/2016 11:55 AM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:57
Jason Reed / Reuters
The AEC continues to tally votes from the July 2 poll.

The coalition is increasingly confident of forming a majority government as it takes the lead in key undecided seats and Australia creeps closer to a final election result.

It's been more than a week since the nation went to the polls, but the country is still sweating on the final outcome of the vote as counting continues and five seats remain in the balance.

The too-close-to-call seats are Capricornia, Cowan, Herbert, Hindmarsh and Flynn, while the ABC has the coalition winning 74 seats compared to Labor's 66. The Greens have taken one seat, with 4 going to independents.

The ABC forecasts the coalition to take Forde and says it has moved ahead of the ALP in the central Queensland electorates of Capricornia and Flynn.

Senior Liberal Minister Christopher Pyne has already called the election for the coalition and on Sunday Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos also backed his party to get over the line.

"We have won this election, I believe we are the government, and I think that is a good thing for Australia," he told ABC television.

"We got more primary votes than Labor, and we will end up ahead of them on the 2-party preferred."

Sinodinos' comments come on the same day as Nationals' Barnaby Joyce called on Labor to concede defeat and said his party wold push for an additional cabinet spot in a returned coalition government. Joyce also said he wanted a new and confidential written agreement between the Nationals and the Liberal Party.

Meanwhile, Labor says it will not concede until the Coalition officially wins 76 seats, with Chifley MP Ed Husic reiterating that on Sunday morning.

"Let's get the counting done and so see where we go but I think it is premature for us to be making big calls," he told ABC television.

On Sunday morning the Australian Electorial Commission (AEC) tweeted that was working hard to finalise the result, especially in the knife's edge Queensland seats.

The AEC on Saturday said it was still receiving postal votes.

"Postal and other declaration votes will continue to be received up until the receipt deadline of Friday 15 July. This includes declaration votes from the 94 overseas voting centres in operation during the federal election, which continue to be progressively dispatched to their home divisions," the AEC said.

"Senate ballot papers securely packaged and transported to the Central Senate Scrutiny sites across Australia will be progressively scanned for inclusion in the count. This process will continue over the next couple of weeks.

"This is a close election and the overall result will rely on the results in a small number of close seats."

The AEC said if a seat remained close a full distribution of preferences could be required to determine a result but that would only take place after 15 July "when all votes for the electorate must have been received".

While pundits tip Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to have the numbers to form government, they warn that a relatively smooth legislative year will be difficult to achieve in the next parliament.

Turnbull faces the strong possibility of an unmanageable senate, where crossbenchers Derryn Hinch, Pauline Hanson, Nick Xenophon and Jacqui Lambie are set to take their seats.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said on Saturday he would not do any deals with the major parties after Queensland independent Bob Katter and Victorian independent Cathy McGowan pledged to give supply and confidence to the coalition earlier this week.

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