Australia's Labor celebrates general election win

Outgoing PM Scott Morrison concedes election defeat

Labor supporters celebrate their party's success. Getty
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Australia's Labor Party has won the national election after Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat.

The result will end almost a decade of conservative rule, but Labor may need support from pro-environment independents to close the door on Mr Morrison's Liberal-National coalition.

Labor is four seats short of the 76 needed for an outright majority in the 151 lower house. Final results could take time as the counting of a record number of postal votes is completed.

Labor's Anthony Albanese, speaking as he headed to the celebrations, said he wanted to unite the country and “end the climate wars”.

“I think people want to come together, look for our common interest, look towards that sense of common purpose. I think people have had enough of division. What they want is to come together as a nation, and I intend to lead that,” he said.

Anthony Albanese speaks to supporters at a Labor Party event in Sydney, Australia. AP

Mr Albanese said he aimed to be sworn in swiftly so he could attend a meeting of the Quad security grouping in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Partial results showed Mr Morrison's Liberal-National coalition had been punished by voters in Western Australia and in affluent urban seats in particular.

With 60 per cent of the vote counted, Labor had 72 seats and Mr Morrison's coalition 55. Independents and the Greens held 11, the Australian Broadcasting Corp projected.

A further 13 seats remained in doubt.

“Tonight, I have spoken to the leader of the opposition and the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese. And I've congratulated him on his election victory this evening,” Mr Morrison said.

He said that he would stand down as leader of the Liberal party.

After making whistle-stop tours across marginal seats in the final two days of a campaign dominated by rising living costs, climate change and integrity, Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese cast their votes in Sydney.

As Labor focused on spiking inflation and sluggish wage growth, Mr Morrison made the country's lowest unemployment in almost half a century the centrepiece of his campaign's final hours.

— With reporting from wires.

Updated: May 21, 2022, 4:49 PM