Tight Vote Could End in Hung Aussie Parliament

Tight Vote Could End in Hung Aussie Parliament Tight Vote Could End in Hung Aussie Parliament

Australia will not know the result of its federal election for days, as counting in tight seats continues. Twelve out of 150 lower house seats remain in doubt, with counting of pre-poll, postal and absentee votes to resume on Tuesday.

The official Australian Electoral Commission tally has Labor on 67 seats and the ruling Liberal-National coalition on 66 seats. Independents and minor parties gained an unprecedented share of the vote, BBC reported.

Analysts expect the remaining ballots to fall in favor of the government and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said early on Sunday morning he expected to get the 76 seats he needs to form a new administration.

But many analysts are predicting a hung parliament, where neither party has an absolute majority.

In that case, both Turnbull and Labor leader Bill Shorten will have the chance to form government by doing a deal with independents and minor parties.

Shorten said in a speech that Turnbull’s coalition had lost its mandate to govern.

Nearly a quarter of Australians voted for a lower house candidate from outside the major parties.

Voting is compulsory in Australia and uses the alternative vote system where voters rank candidates in order of preference.

All 150 seats in Australia’s lower house, the House of Representatives, were being contested at this election, as were all 76 seats in the upper house, the Senate.

It is the first time in decades that all the seats in both houses have been contested in a single election.

The double-dissolution election, as it is known, was called by Turnbull in an attempt to break a deadlock over industrial relations legislation.

Counting will not resume until Tuesday because postal votes, absentee votes and pre-poll votes need to be packaged up and returned to each electoral district to be processed.

Unstable government has been the norm in Australia ever since Julia Gillard deposed her Labor colleague, Kevin Rudd, during his first term as prime minister in 2010.

Gillard fumbled her way into minority government at that year’s election. The period that followed was marked by vicious divisions in Labor. Gillard never managed to gain the electorate’s trust.