Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison (File photo)
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison (File photo)

Australian elections '19: Scott Morrison claims victory, Bill Shorten resigns as Labor's chief

ANI | Updated: May 18, 2019 22:06 IST

Canberra [Australia], May 18 (ANI): Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday claimed victory in the 2019 elections with expectations that the country's voters were ready for a change in course after six years of tumultuous leadership under his party.
"I have always believed in miracles," Prime Minister Morrison said in his victory speech, adding, "Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their government to put them first. And that is exactly what we are going to do."
But Morrison's centre-right Liberal Party received only a handful of seats, indicating a possibility that the Prime Minister will have to lead a minority government rather than retaining outright control, The New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, the result indicated a crushing defeat for the Labor Party, with Opposition leader Bill Shorten announcing his resignation from the Labor leadership.
The centre-left Labor Party was confident it would win majority government tonight, after six years of coalition government and leadership instability.
"This has been a tough campaign, toxic at times, but now that the contest is over, all of us have a responsibility to respect the result -- respect the wishes of the Australian people and to bring our nation together," Shorten was quoted as saying.
He called on the people to address climate change and resist the right-wing populism pushing into Australian politics from minor parties. He also urged supporters to continue fighting for equality, for women, and for all Australians.
"I say carry on the fight," he said, adding, "Our time will come."
Around 16.5 million Australians exercised their franchise on Saturday. Over four million eligible voters had already cast ballots in early voting by Thursday, according to Al Jazeera.
The polls were widely referred to as the "climate change elections" by the local media. (ANI)