SCOTT Morrison has claimed victory after a remarkable election where the coalition defied the the polls and the pundits.
“I have always believed in miracles,” he told Liberal supporters with his wife and daughters by his side, after Labor leader Bill Shorten conceded defeat.
“I’m standing with the three biggest miracles of my life here tonight and tonight we have been delivered another one.”
The hundreds of Liberal supporters gathered in the ballroom of the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel cheered wildly as Mr Morrison entered the room.
He thanked Mr Shorten for his “kind words” and wished him and his family well, and God’s blessings.
Mr Morrison dedicated the victory to the people he calls the “quiet Australians”.
“… it’s always been about them. It’s always been for those of you watching this at home tonight, for me and for my government, for all of my team, it’s all about you,” he said.
Mr Morrison, who became prime minister less than nine months ago after the Liberal party rolled Malcolm Turnbull, Mr Morrison promised to return to work straight away.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re going to get back to work for the Australians that we know go to work every day, who face those struggles and trials every day,” he said.
“They’re looking for a fair go and they’re having a go and they’re going to get a go from our government.”
The coalition will be returned to government after winning at least 74 of the 76 seats needed to form a majority in parliament.
A number of seats are still in doubt, but Mr Morrison acknowledged those candidates who won their seats – and singled out Queensland, where Labor failed to make an impact.
“How good’s Queensland?” he said, to chants of Queensland from the crowd.
“I never thought I’d hear that in this room in NSW this close to Origin.”
He thanked his family, candidates and Liberal party administrators and the coalition partners, the Nationals, and singled out Tony Abbott who lost his seat of Warringah.
Earlier, Bill Shorten conceded defeat in Saturday’s federal election and said he will stand down as leader.
“Without wanting to hold out any false hope, while there are still million of votes to count, it is obvious Labor will not be able to form the next government,” he told Labor supporters on Saturday night.
He said he had called Scott Morrison to congratulate him on a win for the coalition.
He said he would remain as the member for Maribyrnong but said “I will not be a candidate in the next Labor leadership ballot.”
“Labor’s next victory will belong to our next leader and I’m confident that victory will come at the next election,” he said.
Porter to get a tattoo after election win
Labor failed to snatch the marginal seat of Pearce away from the Liberals and Attorney-General Christian Porter in Western Australia.
And Mr Porter is standing by his promise to get inked after retaining his seat of Pearce in the federal election.
“In a weaker moment during the campaign I promised my team … that if we won with an increased majority I’d get a tattoo,” he told his supporters on Saturday night in Perth.
“No, I’m not getting Clarkson’s postcode, as much as I’d like.”
Mr Porter noted six months ago the election seemed difficult to win for the Liberals, with Labor tipped to steal five seats in WA.
“Every single commentator had written us off,” he said.
But in a reference to television show Game of Thrones, Mr Porter said when looking into the face of political death “you say, not today”.
The Attorney-General said he ran a local, grassroots campaign.
“We faced down everything they had to throw at us, every dollar that Get Up could raise from overseas,” he said.
“They were sending out emails to ship people in from Fremantle to Sydney in this seat and we stood by each other.”
Mr Porter also acknowledged his father during his victory speech.
“It doesn’t matter how hard the task is or how insurmountable the odds might seem, or what the challenges might be that you’re up against,” he said.
“If you really, really work hard and you really, really commit yourself to it and your team to it, you can do it.
“I learnt that lesson growing up from my father, who did amazing things as an athlete.
“He’s at home now and he’s had his third round of chemo, but I’m sure that he is watching all of this and is very happy with what’s gone on tonight.”
Mr Porter thanked his team, including his wife, hugging and kissing her as the crowd of blue shirts cheered.
Earlier, WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt has said while the night’s Federal Election result had been disappointing so far, a number of WA seats would come down to pre poll votes.
Speaking at the Swan Labor function ahead of candidate Hannah Beazley, Mr Wyatt said the “single biggest booth they’ve got to count is pre polls”.
“That’s going to take some time to work through,” he said.
“Everybody here, you’ve done an exceptional job getting us to where we are in Swan.
“I still think we can get over the line with those pre polls.”
There was a chorus of “Hannah, Hannah, Hannah” from the crowd, and Ms Beazley took to the microphone.
“I want this on the record – I’m really sorry I couldn’t do this for Bob… but we’ve opened the door in Swan to let people know we care about them,” Beazley says. #ausvotes #auspol #perthnews pic.twitter.com/kOgrD0D3WO
— Jessica Warriner (@jesswarriner) May 18, 2019
“It’s obviously not the result that we wanted, we have to completely own that,” she said.
“It looks like we’ve got a bit of a swing to us, but we don’t know if it’s enough.
“Unfortunately, I come here with no result.”
Ms Beazley posted a tribute to former Prime Minister Bob Hawke on social media yesterday, saying she had known, loved and looked up to Mr Hawke since she was “knee high to a grasshopper”.
“I’d also like to say – it may be a bit emotional, but I want it on the record – I’m really sorry I couldn’t do this for Bob,” she said at Saturday night’s function.
“I hope the next time we’ll be able to.”
- — The Australian Electoral Commission lists 19 House of Representatives seats as “close” after Saturday’s federal election, including Cowan and Swan.
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