UPDATE at midnight – Bill Shorten has conceded the election to Scott Morrison, and will stand down as leader of the Australian Labor Party.
Shortly after midnight, Scott Morrison has claimed victory. The question of whether the Coalition will govern with an outright majority is still unanswered, and we will need to wait for further results to come through during the next week before the final make up of the Parliament is known.
UPDATE at 9.30pm – ABC’s election analyst Antony Green has predicted a Coalition victory, but was unable to predict whether it would hold an absolute majority, or through a hung-parliament.
Preliminary results for the 2019 Federal Election shows an election result that is too close to call, with a weaker than expected swing towards Labor and the Coalition picking up a batch of key Queensland and Tasmania seats.
The 2019 Election campaign has been characterised as a campaign about climate change and the issue has clearly had some influence on the results.
Unfortunately, the indicative results from the 2019 election are far from an emphatic victory for parties that have campaigned for strong climate action.
There have been significant wins, with the ousting of conservative former Prime Minister Tony Abbott being the standout, but the Coalition looks to have gained more ground in Queensland and Tasmania than it has lost in the rest of the country.
The issue of climate change has split the States, with the state of Victoria showing swing a strong swing away from the Coalition, while the Coalition has gained significant ground in Queensland, where support for the Adani Carmichael Mine was a prominent feature of conservative campaigns.
At the time of the election, both the Liberal and Labor parties needed to gain seats to obtain a majority in the House of Representatives.
The Coalition needed to pick up two seats, as a result of a redistribution of seat boundaries, and the loss of the long-time held seat of Wentworth at a by-election, following the retirement of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The Labor party needs to pick up a total of seven new seats, to form government in its own right.
As at 9pm according to the ABC, the Coalition was on the cusp of victory and projected to win 74 seats. Labor was projected to win 66, with six seats projected for the Greens and Independents.
The following seats are expected to change hands:
Independent Gains (1)
Warringah – IND Gain from Lib– This is a major blow to the conservative faction of the Liberal Party, with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott falling to Independent Zali Steggall.
Tony Abbott conceded his seat just after 8:30pm, but during his concession speech claimed that Scott Morrison was in the hotseat to remain Prime Minister.
Labor Gains (2)
Gilmore – Labor Gain from Lib– The Liberals ran a shambles of a campaign in the south coast seat of Gilmore, parachuting Warren Mundine into a contest, causing conservatie campaigns to fracture between Liberal, Nationals and a former Liberal candidate turned independent. Labor is expected to pick up the seat.
Coalition Gains (5)
The Coalition has gained a duo of seats in Tasmania from Labor, in the seats of Bass and Braddon.
The Coalition has also gained three Queensland seats, in Herbert, Lindsay and Longman.
Net Change – Coalition 2 seat gain
With a projected gain in seats that matches what the Coalition needs to retain power, the pathways for a Labor victory have narrowed considerably.
What we now need to look for
At the time of writing, six seats across the country are also too close to call.
There are large portion of votes yet to be counted, and a large volume of pre-poll votes that will not be counted until next week. The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed that 4.7 million Australian’s pre-polled, representing approximately one-third of all votes cast at the election.
Senate results will also be crucial for the passage (or for blocking) legislation through the Parliament and results will continue to trickle through over the next few days.
Very early Senate counts suggest that no party will control the Senate and whichever party forms Government will continue to rely on a selection of crossbenchers to pass legislation.