July 20, 2024
Australia's Morrison leads Conservatives to victory on economic pledge
Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party Scott Morrison, flanked by his wife Jenny Morrison and daughters Lily Morrison and Abbey Morrison, delivers his victory speech in Sydney Wentworth.
Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party Scott Morrison, flanked by his wife Jenny Morrison and daughters Lily Morrison and Abbey Morrison, delivers his victory speech in Sydney Wentworth.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison led his conservative government to a surprise victory in Australia’s election Saturday, seeing off a challenge from the left-leaning Labor opposition with his pledge to safeguard the slowing economy.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said while there were still millions of votes to be counted, it was clear he would not be able to form a government.

“I wished Scott Morrison good fortune and good courage in the service of our great nation,” said Shorten, adding he will step down as Labor leader.

With 68 percent of the vote counted, the Liberal-National coalition is expected to win 74 seats in the 151-member lower house, with Labor on 65, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The broadcaster said it remained unclear whether the coalition would gain the 76 seats needed to form a majority.

It is a remarkable win for the conservative government, which has been plagued by factional infighting during its six years in office that hobbled its ability to craft policy. Morrison, 51, who took the helm in August and is the Liberals’ third leader in four years, spent much of the campaign relentlessly attacking Labor’s detailed policy platform that included boosting the minimum wage and taking tougher action against climate change.

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See Also:

(1) Voters Down Under put Australian interests first in another win for Trump-style nationalism

(2) Pollsters Blindsided Again: Australian Labor Party’s Surprise Defeat Echoes Hillary, Brexit

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