Australian PM Scott Morrison declares victory

Vastavam web: Australia’s ruling Conservative Coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday made a “miraculous” comeback in the general election, defying exit polls and devastating the opposition Labor Party, forcing its leader Bill Shorten to step down.

Around 16 million Australians swarmed to the polling booths across the country on Saturday to elect the nation’s 31st prime minister, in what was widely referred to as the climate-change election.

The latest results showed that the Conservative Coalition has won 74 seats while labour secured 66. A party needs 76 seats for a simple majority in the 151-member House of Representatives. It was not clear if 51-year-old Morrison will require the support of independent MPs to govern.

But an independent, Helen Haines, who won from the seat of Indi, said that she would be working with the Coalition in the scenario of a hung parliament. Haines said she was very determined to work with the government on addressing climate change.

Morrison along his wife Jenny visited a church in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire on Sunday in his electorate of Cook where he thanked his local voters.

“I have always believed in miracles for me and for my government, for all of my team it’s all about you…tonight is about every single Australian,” a beaming Morrison told his supporters.

“You don’t get to be a Prime Minister and serve in that capacity unless you first are a member for your local electorate. I want to thank everybody here in my local electorate and local team,” said Morrison, who has only led the government since last August, when Liberal Party colleagues lost confidence in his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull.

Morrison had wooed voters by saying if re-elected, the Coalition would deliver a stable economy, more jobs and tax cuts. He also promised funds for women’s career initiative and domestic violence and conservative plans to deal with climate change.

“Our government will get back to work just as Gladys Berejiklian got back to work in New South Wales, just a few months ago,” he told his supporters.