Australia election: Morrison claims victory in 'miracle' upset

 edition.cnn.com  05/18/2019 14:45:00  18

less than 1 min ago

Our live coverage of the Australian election has ended after an extraordinary night in which Prime Minister Scott Morrison was re-elected in a shock victory. Read more about what happened here.

28 min ago
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, flanked by his wife Jenny Morrison and daughters Lily Morrison and Abbey Morrison, delivers his victory speech in Sydney on Saturday.

Flanked by his wife and daughters, Prime Minister Morrison dedicated his surprise victory to the "quiet Australians."

"It's Australians who have worked hard, started a business, started a family, bought a home," he said to loud cheers.

"These are the quiet Australians who have won a great victory tonight."

Morrison pledged to "get back to work" as soon as possible. "We are an amazing country of amazing people. God bless Australia."

28 min ago
Scott Morrison supporters celebrate at the coalitions election party in Sydney on May 18.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison has claimed victory in the 2019 election, with results showing the Liberal National coalition is on track to be returned to government.

"I have always believed in miracles," he told jubilant supporters in Sydney. "And tonight we've been delivered another one."

It was a stunning turnaround after every opinion poll over the campaign pointed to a Labor victory. Analysts are now saying Labor lost an "unlosable" election.

1 hr ago
Bill Shorten, with his wife Chloe Shorten, concedes defeat in Melbourne on Saturday.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has called Prime Minister Scott Morrison to concede defeat.

It has been a devastating night for Shorten, who was widely predicted to be giving a victory speech.

"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 ... it is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government," Shorten said, speaking to party supporters in Melbourne.

"I'm proud that we argued what was right, not what was easy ... Politics should be the battle of ideas."

Shorten announced he would not contest the next Labor leadership ballot after the election. Deputy Tanya Plibersek is among the top candidates to be his successor.

1 hr 10 min ago
Senator Fraser Anning in the Senate at Parliament House, Canberra.

The Queensland senator who infamously blamed Muslim immigration for the New Zealand terrorist attacks in March is out, experts predict.

ABC analyst Antony Green said far-right senator Fraser Anning would go "back to where he came from."

Anning formed his own party -- called Fraser Anning's Conservative National Party -- and ran candidates in seats across the country.

But so far it has failed to win more than 0.6% of the national vote.

1 hr 24 min ago
Then-treasurer Scott Morrison is congratulated by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull after delivering the budget in the House of Representatives in 2017.

Just eight months ago, the Liberal National coalition government was in chaos.

It plunged in the polls after ditching incumbent Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for his treasurer Scott Morrison, the latest example of Australia's leadership merry-go-round.

With an election on the horizon, the situation seemed hopeless. Yet Morrison is now likely to win, dashing questions over whether removing Turnbull was actually the right call.

Speaking to CNN affiliate Sky News, former Labor communications minister Stephen Conroy said that while Australia's inability to keep a leader might be an international joke, voters don't seem to mind.

"Clearly the Australian people do not care about rotating prime ministers," he said.

1 hr 59 min ago
A Labor supporter reacts at a function in Melbourne on Saturday.

CNN affiliate Sky News has called the election for the Liberal National coalition -- but Labor is refusing to concede.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek and shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese said they would wait to see the vote count over the coming days.

"I don't think you can call the election as done," Plibersek said on the ABC. "I think we might wait for voters' ballot papers to be counted before we do that."

Plibersek blamed an "extremely negative" campaign by the coalition, saying Labor policies had been misrepresented. "Bill (Shorten) ran a fantastic campaign," he said.

2 hr 15 min ago

Former Australia leader John Howard was full of praise for Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Liberal Party function in Sydney on Saturday night.

"It's very clear that Scott Morrison has waged an incredibly successful campaign," Howard told CNN affiliate Seven News, describing the incumbent leader as "magnificent."

"He's waged a relentless campaign, he's been direct, he's been clear, he's been cogent and he's argued the case incredibly well."

Howard is Australia's second-longest serving prime minister, leading the country between 1996 and 2007.

According to the Australian Electoral Commission, the Liberal National coalition is predicted to win 74 seats -- just short of the 76 needed to form a majority.

3 hr 13 min ago
Shattered Labor supporters watch a broadcast of the vote count.

Journalists at Labor's election party in Melbourne are describing the mood as "sombre."

Just hours earlier on Saturday, the party faithful were looking at an exit poll stating they would win government with 52% of the vote.

Now analysts say they are unlikely to even be able to form minority government, with the Liberal National coalition in a good position to be returned.

"It feels like they're shell-shocked, they thought they were going to win, very optimistic at the start of the night and now silence," CNN-affiliate Sky News journalist Kieran Gilbert said.

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

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