Australia: Scott Morrison concedes election defeat, Anthony Albanese to become next PM

Labor party has clinched its first electoral win since 2007

Associated PressUpdated: Saturday, May 21, 2022, 11:32 PM IST
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Scott Morrison | AFP

Canberra: Australia's prime minister conceded defeat after an election on Saturday that could deliver a minority government.

Scott Morrison acted quickly despite millions of votes yet to be counted because an Australian prime minister must attend a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with US, Japanese and Indian leaders.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister after his Labour party wrested its first electoral win since 2007.

Where ousted Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a self-described "bulldozer", Albanese vows to be a "builder". Labour has promised more financial assistance and a robust social safety net as Australia grapples with the highest inflation since 2001 and soaring housing prices.

The party also plans to increase minimal wages, and on the foreign policy front, it proposes to establish a Pacific defence school to train neighbouring armies in response to China's potential military presence on the Solomon Islands on Australia's doorstep.

It also wants to tackle climate change with a more ambitious 43 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The 59-year-old Morrison successor -- nicknamed Albo -- was raised in social housing by a single mother on a disability pension. He has often cited his upbringing as the foundation for his progressive beliefs.

Morrison's Liberal party-led coalition was seeking a fourth three-year term. It holds the narrowest of majorities — 76 seats in the 151-member House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.

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