Turnbull secures first election as prime minister
MALCOLM Turnbull has secured his first tenure as an elected prime minister, amid calls for the introduction of electronic voting to relegate prolonged vote counts to history.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten conceded the narrow loss yesterday after the Australian Electoral Commission showed the Coalition would win 76 seats in the House of Representatives.
It means Mr Turnbull has scraped together a majority government and will no longer need to do deals with Lower House crossbenchers.
However, a patchwork Senate with minor party and independent members holding the balance of power is likely to frustrate his efforts to get laws passed without deals.
Mr Shorten said Labor would work with the government to push through reforms where the parties shared common ground.
"The Australian people expect all sides of politics to work ... in the interest of the people, not just themselves," he said.
He said he would write to Mr Turnbull "in a non-partisan spirit" to say it was long overdue for Australia to look at electronic voting.
"We can't afford to have our nation drift for eight days after an election," the Opposition Leader said.
"I think we should be able to find out who won and who lost in a quicker time than we've seen."
Mr Turnbull thanked Mr Shorten for his pledge to work with the government where he could.
"I have to say on a family note, when Bill called me I had my granddaughter Isla on my left hip, so she was a one-year-old witness to history," the PM said.
"It is vital that this parliament work. It is vital that we work together and as far as we can ensure that we all agree… consistent with our policies that we took to the election."
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce had already declared victory earlier in the day after the Coalition recorded growing leads on postal votes in the seats of Capricornia and Flynn.
He said there might be room for another Nationals MP on the frontbench.
"If we are entitled to a position, we'll ask for that position. That's how it works," he told Sky News.
Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove is in France for a Bastille Day celebration, meaning Mr Turnbull will have to wait for his return before parliament is sworn in.