Liberals secure unlikely victory in Australia’s surprising federal election result

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison second right arrives on stage to speak to party supporters flanked by his wife Jenny and daughters Lily and Abbey left after his opponent concedes defeat in the federal election in Sydney Australia Sunday

The miracle, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the victory, is the latest political event to confound media and forecasters, following the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US election in catching markets on the wrong foot.

After announcing he was standing down following his unexpected defeat on Saturday, Bill Shorten on Sunday announced he had asked the National Secretary to convene a meeting of the National Executive to begin the process of electing a new Labor leader.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to secure majority government with the Liberals expected to win several tight races, including the Melbourne seat of Chisholm and Malcolm Turnbull's old seat of Wentworth.

Australia's Liberal-led coalition has won or is leading in 74 seats in its quest for a 76-seat majority, according to the Australian Electoral Commission, with three-quarters of votes counted.

Australia's conservative government, which opinion polls had predicted would lose yesterday's general election, was celebrating a surprise triumph last night.

So far, coalition has won 75 seats as compared to Labor's 65.

A tired Shorten, however, who had been widely tipped to win, had to concede in an emotional late-night speech.

The poll showed the Labor winning as many as 82 seats, beating the ruling Coalition.

Morrison only took command of the Liberal party in August and is its third leader in in four years.

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Meanwhile, the Labor Party, which was widely expected to win the election, is set to claim 68 seats, with independents and minor parties claiming six seats.

It is still unclear whether the coalition can govern with an outright majority or will need to negotiate support from independents, with millions of early votes cast before polling day still to be counted.

"This is really extraordinary results, it is a stupendous results, it is a great result for Scott Morrison and the rest of the Liberal team, and Scott Morrisson will quite rightly enter the Liberal Pantheon forever", Abbott said, conceding his defeat.

"For the first time ever in my 30-odd years of doing this we now have to say we're really sorry we weren't as accurate as we could be, but hey, we're looking into it", he said by telephone, but added the poll's seat-by-seat predictions proved right.

"We have an opportunity now to reset our relationships and recommit to working toward a clear, stable and long-term energy policy", she said in comments emailed to Reuters after Saturday's election.

Malcolm Turnbull the prior leader was ousted a year ago after losing an effort to force the party to take a stronger position on green-house gas emissions.

"Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first". Shorten campaigned on a progressive agenda addressing wealth inequality by including tax cuts for low income workers, increasing the minimum wage and reducing advantages for stock and property investors.

The government has committed Australia to reduce its emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

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