POLITICS

Malcolm Turnbull Will Return As Australia's PM After Bill Shorten Concedes

The wait is finally over.

10/07/2016 1:09 PM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:57

Malcolm Turnbull will be returned as Australia's Prime Minister after opposition leader Bill Shorten admitted defeat in the 2016 federal election on Sunday.

Speaking in Sydney, Turnbull said Liberal-National Coalition had come through the marathon Australian federal election process "peacefully and constructively".

"It is something we should not take for granted ... above all I want to thank the Australian people," he told reporters.

He said Shorten congratulated him and and his wife Lucy on the election win by phone on Sunday, and he also paid tribute to his family for the "wonderful support they have given me in this campaign".

He said he received the call with his granddaugter Isla on his hip.

"It's a beautiful reminder that we are trustees ... of future generations," Turnbull added.

AP
Malcolm Turnbull says the Coalition has won the election.

He said it was vital that Australia transitioned to the new economy and away from mining and also stressed the importance of budget repair.

It was also important that education, Medicare and all vital services were provided, he said.

Turnbull said Australia expected his team to work together with the whole parliament to deliver the good government the nation deserved.

He also thanked the volunteers of the Liberal and National parties for their "dedication and commitment".

Earlier, Shorten made his concession announcement in Melbourne. It came eight days after Australia went to the polls and as vote counting continues in a number of close contests.

The coalition has established a lead in 74 seats and it edges towards forming majority government under Turnbull.

More than a week after the nation went to the polls five seats -- Capricornia, Cowan, Herbert, Hindmarsh and Flynn -- remain in the balance.

The coalition is projected to win 76 seats compared to Labor's 69, according to the Australian Electoral Commission. The Greens have taken one seat, with 4 going to other candidates.

Shorten told reporters that he called Turnbull on Sunday to congratulate him on the victory.

"Whether or not it's a minority government or a majority government of one or two it's clear that they will form a government," he said.

"I hope they run a good government, Australians expect nothing less of the 45th parliament. They've made it clear with the representatives they've selected that they expect us to work together."

He said he respected that Turnbull had a mandate to govern and would search for common ground with him in the next parliament, but would not turn his back on core Labor issues like Medicare and boosting Australian jobs.

"I am proud that Labor has found its voice in this election," he said.

He acknowledged that it had been a very long election campaign and 8 days since the country went to the polls, going on to suggest that electronic voting should be looked at in the future.

He said despite the vote count continuing in a number of key seats it was clear that Turnbull's coalition would form government.

Shorten also thanked his family and all of those who had helped the ALP campaign.

"I want again to thank the tens of thousands of volunteers who have worked so hard on the Labor campaign."

Earlier on Sunday, Nationals' leader Barnaby Joyce said he wanted a new and confidential written agreement between the Nationals and the Liberal Party as the 2 parties move into the next parliament.

With the election result confirmed, focus is expected now to turn to how Turnbull will manage the 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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