Anthony Albanese has become the first Labor Party prime minister in nearly a decade, as he defeats incumbent Scott Morrison to cease power in Australia.
Scott Morrison accepted defeat and reportedly called Albanese shortly after the result was called in order to concede. In a subsequent speech, Morrison also announced he would stand down as Liberal Party leader:
“What Australians have endured over these past few years has shown a tremendous depth of character and resilience and strength.”
“It has been the Australian people under the strong support of a strong government that’s enabled all of us to come through to where we are today, and that’s something that all Australians can give thanks for as we move forward.”
Although Albanese is set to be Australia’s next leader, his party is still four seats away from a majority, meaning he may have to form a coalition government. The Australian Labor Party (ALP) needs at least 76 seats in the 151-strong lower house to form the government by itself.
A strong performance for the Green Party suggests that an ALP-Green coalition is the most likely outcome at this stage.
Anthony Albanese will become the nation’s first non Anglo-Celtic prime minister, with an Italian heritage. He is also one of Australia’s longest-serving politicians, having served in parliament for 25 years before becoming prime minister.
He is known an advocate for the LGBT community, a republican who wishes to end Australia’s association with the British Monarch as head of state, and a rugby league fan.
The election primarily was centred around economic issues, with a raging cost of living crisis, and fears around the environment. Scott Morrison has long been a sceptic of taking action on climate change.
Current projections will put the ALP 6 short of a majority, but as many as 23 seats ahead of the Liberal-National coalition.