Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat in the country’s federal election on Saturday, calling on Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese to congratulate him on his victory. The Prime Minister conceded in a televised speech from the Liberals’ headquarters in Sydney, adding that he would step down as party leader.
“On a night like this, it’s worth acknowledging how our democracy works. I have always believed in Australians and their judgment, and I have always been ready to accept their verdicts, and tonight they delivered their verdict“, said Morrison.
The Liberal Party lost more than 12 seats in the election. While the vote count had not been completed by the time of Morrison’s concession speech, victory for Labor seemed certain, winning at least 72 of the 151 seats in parliament. Morrison’s Liberals got just 54, while independents and third parties — led by the Greens, which had their best election results yet — got 11 so far, according to ABC. Labor needs 76 seats to form a majority government.
Morrison, who served only one term, was not the only leading liberal to lose in the election. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, seen as Morrison’s most likely successor, was also removed.
Morrison’s Conservative government had been widely criticized ahead of the election for what many saw as its extremely poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters, particularly the devastating fires that preceded the coronavirus outbreak.
Albanese thanked his constituents for “vote[ing] for change“, ticking off several political points in his victory speech with promises to”end climate wars“, launch a “National Anti-Corruption Commission“, to strengthen the country’s healthcare and aged care, and to make Australia a”renewable energy superpower.“His win is Labor’s first victory since 2007.
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