Turnbull declares victory for Australia's ruling coalition

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a news conference in Sydney, Australia, on July 10.
Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a news conference in Sydney, Australia, on July 10. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY • Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared victory for the ruling conservatives after the Labor opposition conceded defeat, but faces a tough time ahead after the closely-fought election.

The declaration ended eight days of uncertainty about the new government's identity. A tight race between the two major parties left neither with the 76 or more seats required for a parliamentary majority following polls on July 2, with vote counting still ongoing.

"We've won the election, that's what we've done," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney yesterday, adding that he had received a call from Labor leader Bill Shorten congratulating him on his re-election as prime minister.

But he immediately faced questions about whether he would be able to govern successfully, with Labor increasing its Lower House seats and a higher number of minor party and independent senators to contend with in the Upper House.

The ruling coalition has secured 74 seats, and potentially two more, in the 150-seat House of Representatives, according to national broadcaster ABC's projections.

But Mr Turnbull has won the support of three independent MPs, paving the way for him to form a minority government if necessary.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2016, with the headline 'Turnbull declares victory for Australia's ruling coalition'. Print Edition | Subscribe