At a short and sharp News Conference this afternoon a dignified Labor Leader, Bill Shorten, conceded defeat in the 2016 Federal Election Ballot.
Mr Shorten says that while a number of seats remain too close to call, it is now clear that Malcolm Turnbull will form Government either in the Coalition’s own right or with the support of three of the five independents.
Bob Katter, Ian Willkie and Cathy McGowan have all given their support to a Turnbull led Government.
Mr Shorten says he called Malcolm Turnbull a short time ago and congratulated him and his wife, Lucy.
He in a forthright statement he urged the Coalition to run a good Government.
‘Australians expect nothing less of our 45th Parliament.”Mr Shorten said.
He congratulated all Labor candidates, workers and volunteers who worked, he says, “Tirelessly across the eight-week election campaign.”
‘I am proud Labor is back and Labor is united.” He said.
Mr Shorten says he respects Mr Turnbull has a mandate to pursue his policies but that Labor also has its own mandate from voters to defend its values.
Mr Shorten called on the government should consider re-examining its superannuation changes to ensure they are not retrospective.
Mr Shorten said he had also written to Mr Turnbull to call for a bipartisan investigation into electronic voting because of how long it has taken the Australian Electoral Commission to determine the result.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
The concession by the ALP now clears the way for Malcolm Turnbull to call on the Governor General and seek to form the next Government of Australia.
Earlier this weekend Mr Turnbull had said he would ‘WAIT’ until the results of all House of Representatives seats is clear.
The Shorten announcement may expedite that.
CURRENT STATE OF PLAY
At Present the Coalition has won 74 seats, Labor 66, five remain in doubt and Independents hold 5.
It is now generally thought that the final count will see the Coalition able to govern in their own right, winning 76 seats, to labors 69.
That makes for an extremely tight 45th. Parliament, with the Coalition also having to nominate one of its number as Speaker.
It will therefore depend on the support of the Independents or a casting Speakers vote for continuous issues and votes before the house.
Difficult enough in the House of Reps, but now all Political eyes are on the final Senate make up which is tipped to be as bad for the Coalition as the last Senate, if not worse.
Mr Turnbull is expected to make comment later this afternoon.