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Australia PM Morrison wins come-from-behind poll victory

IANS  |  Melbourne 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secured a stunning victory against the odds in Saturday's general election taking his Liberal National coalition to a third term in office.

It is still unknown if Morrison will form a majority or minority government, but swings to the coalition across large Australian states, especially Queensland, have ensured he will remain Prime Minister.

In a triumphant speech Saturday night, Morrison said he had "always believed in miracles."

"And tonight we've been delivered another one," he told jubilant supporters in Sydney who chanted Morrison's nickname "ScoMo."

After losing an election which many analysts described as "unlosable," opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten conceded and announced he would be stepping down as head of the party.

"I know that you're all hurting, and I am too," Shorten told party supporters in Melbourne. "I'm proud that we argued what was right, not what was easy...should be the battle of ideas."

The result will be devastating for the centre-left Labor Party, which had been ahead in every opinion poll during the campaign and had expected to easily form a government after Saturday's vote, CNN reported.

"This was the unlosable election for the Labor Party. That's how this was considered," ABC's Patricia Karvelas said from the Melbourne Labor event.

Labor had run on a high-profile campaign of taking action on climate change, improving funding to services, and ending tax cuts for top earners.

With Shorten stepping down, his deputy Tanya Plibersek is a likely contender for the next Australian Labor Party leader.

"Up until today the expectation was that the Labor leader Bill Shorten would become Australia's next Prime Minister, those expectations have been dashed in the extreme," political journalist Tom McIlroy of the Australian Financial Review said.

"There hasn't been a result like this in Australian in a generation."

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 18 2019. 23:48 IST
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