Election 2019 LIVE: Hung Parliament a possibility as Coalition take edge over Labor, Tony Abbott loses Warringah to Zali Steggall

 smh.com.au  05/18/2019 11:05:26  2

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The mood at the Labor party's election night party is grim. as captured by our photographer Alex Ellinghausen.

Reporter Judith Ireland is at the Hyatt Place hotel in Melbourne and sent this update.

There are red balloons, fried things and a big screen playing Antony Green. The mood is watchful and subdued - lots of people looking at their phones. There was a big hurrah when the news came through that Tony Abbott had lost his seat, but some Labor attendees are saying their best hope now is minority government. Others are shrugging off the results at this point - saying it was "always going to be a long night" (keep in mind that Bill Shorten predicted a clear Labor win earlier today, before polls closed).

Election night function for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Hyatt Place in Melbourne, Victoria, on Saturday 18 May 2019. 2019 election campaign with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. fedpol ausvotes19 election19 Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Election night function for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Hyatt Place in Melbourne, Victoria, on Saturday 18 May 2019. 2019 election campaign with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. fedpol ausvotes19 election19 Photo: Alex EllinghausenCredit:Alex Ellinghausen

As voters in the east coast appear to have failed Labor, the opposition is turning its attention to the West, hoping the voters of WA will deliver their long-predicted election win. Our political reporter Nicole Hasham has a full update here.

By Latika Bourke

Zali Steggall is delivering her victory speech to her supporters at the Novotel Hotel in Warringah.�

 Zali Steggall supporters celebrate good primary votes at the Novotel Hotel, Manly which is Zali Steggall's base for election night, on 18 May 2019. The federal seat of Warringah is currently held by Tony Abbott and is being hotly contested by Independent Zali Steggall.

Zali Steggall supporters celebrate good primary votes at the Novotel Hotel, Manly which is Zali Steggall's base for election night, on 18 May 2019. The federal seat of Warringah is currently held by Tony Abbott and is being hotly contested by Independent Zali Steggall.Credit: Jessica Hromas

She is promising to be a "climate change leader" and fight against corruption in the federal parliament.

She also paid tribute to Tony Abbott and praised his dedication to his community.

I'm checking back in with my sources but first take a look at this incredible snap from our photographer Alex Ellinghausen who has captured the mood at the Labor election night party.

Election night function for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Hyatt Place in Melbourne, Victoria, on Saturday 18 May 2019.

Election night function for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Hyatt Place in Melbourne, Victoria, on Saturday 18 May 2019.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

I just phoned back my coalition source I referred to earlier in the evening, who began the night saying things look "terrible." "I really think the Coalition is going to win - I can't believe it!"� The source added: "Albo would have wiped the floor with us."

And that's the key. Tonight is all about Bill Shorten and his failure to deliver a Labor landslide.

Let's take you to the Liberals' election night party at the Sofitel in Sydney's CBD.�

Liberal supporters in the Ballroom of the Sofitel Wenworth, for the Liberal party post election celebration.

Liberal supporters in the Ballroom of the Sofitel Wenworth, for the Liberal party post election celebration. Credit:James Brickwood

Reporter Eryk Bagshaw is there and filed this update:

They lost a former prime minister, but gained hope, at 8.30pm on Saturday the Liberal Party election night party had just begun.

The Liberal Party faithful piled in to a swag of unexpected results - Braddon, Herbert, Lindsay, Longman, Bass - all gained by 8pm, for the loss of Tony Abbott and his blue ribbon seat of Warringah.

Up to 30 others were still too close to call, a hung Parliament a very real possibility.

It is looking very very good though, a lot better than the polls, said Liberal Party member Tony Wong, one of 100 party followers who had arrived before proceedings officially began.

One NSW MP, who had held onto his seat despite a swing against him said he was exhausted. A relentless campaign from Prime Minister Scott Morrison had put them in touching distance. His final dash to Tasmania - the first PM to begin his election day in the state in 90-years - had paid dividends.

They won Braddon and Bass not long after dinner, both parties have visited more than half-a-dozen times this year - the margin between winning and losing narrowing right up until May 18.

Tony Abbott on climate change says where it is a "moral issue" the Liberals "do it tough" but when it's an "economic issue" the Liberals do well.�

And he says this is not his last word on the issue.�

He gets cheers and claps when he says he's not going to let one bad day ruin 25-years.

The mood in the room at Tony Abbott's party in Warringah is indicative.

Despite his loss, Liberal supporters are overjoyed and clearly feel they are still in the game given this was Labor's to lose.

By Latika Bourke

Tony Abbott is conceding the loss of Warringah but he's celebrating.

Awkwardly he's begun by carrying off a small podium which was giving feedback.�

And he gets huge cheers as he says the good news of the night is that there is every chance the Liberal National coalition has won."

"This is a really extraordinary result, it is a stupendous result," he says.

He says what matters is not the Warringah result but the government of the country.� "I can't say it doesn't hurt to lose," he says of his own loss. "I'd rather be a loser than a quitter."

By Latika Bourke

Time for a stocktake.�

This was supposed to be a landslide, unloseable for Labor. But Labor MPs have told right throughout this campaign that the uninspiring Bill Shorten was a huge drag on Labor's vote.�

A nightmare could be unfolding for the opposition.�

In the last few minutes, the numbers are falling the Coalition's way despite expectations of a Labor win, albeit narrowly.

By Latika Bourke

The Liberals have been hopeful of gaining back Wentworth - Malcolm Turnbull's old seat which was lost by the Liberals to Independent Kerryn Phelps in last year's byelection.�

Our reporter Kylar Loussikian is at the North Bondi Surf Club where supporters of independent Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps have begun to gather.

Dr Phelps is on her way and due soon. Loussikian says the mood was pretty low-key until the Warringah result was broadcast.�

One punter says: its so satisfying.

Although less than 20 per cent of the vote is counted, it looks like Phelps is ahead of Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.

By Latika Bourke

Barnaby Joyce on Nine is double fist-pumping at his result in the safe Nationals seat of New England.�

Asked about Tony Abbott's loss in Warringah, he said many people see Tony Abbott as the "standard-bearer" for views they hold and Abbott's departure from parliament is a "great loss."

Joyce predicts that Tony Abbott will remain in public life.

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