Australia ousts conservatives after nine years

STORY: Riding a wave of support for candidates who campaigned for more action on climate change, Australia’s Labor Party is set to oust the conservatives after nearly a decade.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese will become the new prime minister.

"My Labor team will work every day to bring Australians together. And I will lead a government worthy of the people of Australia. A government as courageous and hardworking and caring as the Australian people are themselves."

Partial results showed Labor had made small gains, but incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal-National coalition had been punished by voters in Western Australia and affluent urban seats.

In results so far, Labor had yet to reach the 76 seats needed to form a majority government.

The final results could take time as counting of a record number of postal votes is completed.

Outgoing PM Scott Morrison, who held the post since 2018, said it had been a “difficult night” and that he would be stepping down as party leader.

"I've always believed in Australians and their judgement and I've always been prepared to accept their verdicts and tonight they have delivered their verdict and I congratulate Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party and I wish him and his government all the very best.”

Albanese is a pragmatic leader from a working-class background.

He’s pledged to end divisions in the country, bring in constitutional recognition and parliamentary representation for Indigenous Aboriginals and establish an anti-corruption commission.

"My fellow Australians, it says a lot about our great country that the son of a single mum who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown, can stand before you tonight as Australia's Prime Minister."

Albanese will face a parliament that looks to be much less climate-sceptic than the previous one.

The Greens and a group of so-called "teal independents", who campaigned on policies of gender equality and tackling climate change, put on a strong showing, tapping voter anger over inaction on the environment after some of the worst floods and fires to hit Australia.

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