Labor’s Anthony Albanese vowed to “end” Australia’s “climate wars” after his triumph in Saturday’s general election.
The Labor party ended nearly a decade of Conservative rule after Scott Morrison stood down as leader of the ruling coalition.
His party was ahead with 72 seats to 51 as of Sunday morning and is on track to win enough seats to form a majority government.
Speaking after his election victory, Mr Albanese said: “Together we can end the climate wars. Together we can take advantage of the opportunity for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower.”
In a victory speech, Mr Albanese also promised to unite Australia as it continues its economic recovery from the pandemic.
He said: “I want to unite the country. 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.”
Mr Albanese will become the first Labor candidate to be Prime Minister since Kevin Rudd in 2013.
Speaking on Saturday as results continued to come in, Mr Morrison said the country now needs “certainty” as he announced his resignation.
“I believe it’s very important that this country has certainty. I think it’s very important this country can move forward,” he said.
“And particularly over the course of this week with the important meetings that are being held, I think it’s vitally important there’s a very clear understanding about the government of this country,” he added.
Mr Morrison, who led the country through bushfires and a pandemic, also gave thanks for “the miracle of the Australian people” during his concession speech.
“What Australians have endured over these past few years has shown a tremendous depth of character and resilience and strength,” he said.
“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.”
He added that his party was handing over a country that was “in a stronger position than we inherited it when we came to government those years ago under Tony Abbott”.
Former defence minister Chris Pyne, who stood down from Mr Morrison’s government in the last election, agreed the ruling coalition would not win enough seats to form a majority government.
“The coalition can’t get there in its own right, no,” he said.
“A Labor majority in our own right is, I think it’s very clear, the most likely outcome of this election,” senior Labor lawmaker Chris Bowen told the Seven Network.
Really boisterous atmosphere at Labor party in Reid in Sydney- “we’re winning,we’re winning” one excited supporter squeals behind me. Room erupts with cheers for Sally Sitou claiming the seat from the govt. pic.twitter.com/yroutdOGGF
— Frances Mao (@francesmao) May 21, 2022
The centre-left Labor Party last won an election in 2007 and had been the favourite during the campaign.
Mr Morrison, however, defied the polls in 2019 when he led the coalition to a narrow victory.
His coalition had held a majority — 76 seats in the 151-member House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government.
Boris Johnson on Saturday congratulated Anthony Albanese on his election victory, tweeting: “Our countries have a long history and a bright future together. As thriving like-minded democracies we work every day to make the world a better, safer, greener and more prosperous place.
“As we reap the rewards of our comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, the AUKUS partnership and the unmatched closeness between the British and Australian people, we do so knowing that the only distance between us is geographical.
“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Albanese in the weeks, months and years ahead as, together, we tackle shared challenges and demonstrate the importance of our shared values.”