Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has admitted defeat following the country’s federal elections on Saturday, calling Labor Party chief Anthony Albanese to congratulate him on his victory. The PM conceded in a televised speech from Liberal headquarters in Sydney, adding that he would stand down as the party’s leader.
“An evening like this is a good night to celebrate the existence of democracy. I have always believed in Australians and their judgment, and I’ve always been prepared to accept their verdicts, and tonight they have delivered their verdict,” Morrison said.
The Liberal Party was unable to win more than 12 electoral votes. While vote counting had not been completed at the time of Morrison’s concession speech, the Labor Party’s victory appeared certain, winning at least 72 of the parliament’s 151 seats. Morrison’s Liberals nabbed just 54, while independents and third parties – led by the Greens, who secured their best election results yet – have netted 11 thus far, according to ABC. For Labor to be a major party, it must win 76 seats.
Morrison was only elected for one term. He wasn’t the only notable Liberal who lost the election. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, viewed as Morrison’s most likely successor, was also knocked out of his post.
Morrison’s conservative government had been widely panned going into the election for what many viewed as its abysmally poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters, specifically the devastating fires that preceded the coronavirus outbreak.
Albanese thanked his constituents for “Vote[ing]Change,” ticking off several policy points in his victory speech with promises to “Stop the climate wars,” launch a “Anti-Corruption National Commission,” strengthen the country’s healthcare and aged care, and turn Australia into a “The renewable energy superpower.” His win is the first victory for Labor since 2007.
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