Turnbull Wins Marathon Race

Finally, it's over. The longest-running federal election campaign in Australian history, followed by the seemingly never-ending vote-counting process, has thrown up a winner in the form of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull whose Coalition government retains power with the narrowest of margins.

 

The Liberal Party and National Party coalition won 76 seats in the House of Representatives, giving it the majority needed in the 150-seat lower house to govern in its own right. The Coalition had, however, already secured the support of some of the key independents on matters of confidence and supply in the event it fell short of a majority in its own right.

 

At time of writing, the final seat of Herbert, centred around Townsville in Queensland, has been called for the ALP, giving the Opposition 69 seats in the house of Representatives. However, the narrow result in Herbert, where Labor's Cathy O'Toole won by a mere eight votes against sitting Liberal MP Ewen Jones means a recount, which could see the seat go either way. (The Australian Electoral Commission's recount provision is triggered if the final result is a margin of fewer than 100 votes.)

 

The remaining five House of Representatives seats were won by the Xenophon Team (one seat), Greens (one seat) and Katter United (one seat), while independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan both held their seats.

 

Counting in the Senate continues, but the Coalition will fall short of a majority and will need the support of a significant number of cross-bench senators to get legislation through the upper house.

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