Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government had delivered a miracle result in Saturday’s election where it unexpectedly looks set to retain office, saying the victory was for the “quiet Australians” who supported him.
“I have always believed in miracles!” Morrison told an exuberant room of Liberal Party supporters around midnight.
The coalition government is in position to remain in power with more than half the votes counted on Saturday, though it is unclear whether it can govern with an outright majority and final results may not be known this weekend.
The results stand in stark contrast to pre-election polls, which had predicted centre-left Labor would win.
The Election result nobody predicted
Try finding someone who says they saw this result coming. For well over two years, the coalition has trailed behind Labor in the opinion polls, and the assumption had been it would be Labor’s turn to govern. But somehow Scott Morrison managed to turn things around at the 11th hour – and he did it largely on his own.
With some of his cabinet colleagues considered too toxic to appear in public on the campaign trail, ScoMo made this election about him, and his ability to be the trustworthy, daggy-dad Australia needed.
In the end, it was very, very close, but the voters decided, on balance, he deserved the fair go he craved.
“It is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government,” Mr Bill Shorten told Labor Party members.
He said he had called Mr Morrison to congratulate him, and announced he would not stand for re-election as Labor leader.
Mr Morrison’s second-in-command, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, fought off a strong challenge for his seat in Melbourne.
He attributed the Liberal-National Coalition’s predicted victory to “the economic choice” made by voters.
In Sydney, Liberal supporter Greg Napper summed up the mood for Reuters news agency: “I thought I was coming to a wake, to be quite honest with you. This is a party – the results are encouraging.”
I Feel Your Pains
“Whilst I intend to continue to serve as member for Maribyrnong, I will not be a candidate in the next Labor leadership ballot,” Mr Shorten told supporters in Melbourne as he conceded defeat.
“I want to say beyond this room to Australians, I know that you’re all hurting and I am too. And without wanting to hold out any false hope, while there are still millions of votes to count and important seats yet to be finalised, it is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government.”
“A short while ago I called Scott Morrison to congratulate him. And I wish Jenny and their daughters all the very best, and above all, I wish Scott Morrison good fortune and good courage..”