Opposition leader Bill Shorten says he believes Australia will have another election within the year, telling Labor colleagues: “we will be campaign-ready from this day onwards.”
As the counting of absentee and postal votes continued on Friday, a Malcolm Turnbull led government appears assured. The question is whether his Coalition manages to scrape over the line to claim the narrowest of majorities.
ABC polling guru Antony Green said on Friday he was certian the Malcolm Turnbull would form a government.
“Malcolm Turnbull is the Prime Minister and will continue as Prime Minister,” Green said on ABC radio.
“In that sense, they have won, it’s just simply a matter of whether they have got a majority or not.”
With 76 seats needed to claim a majority, it appears the Liberal/National coalition will ultimately win either 75, 76 or even 77 seats in the House of Representatives.
In any case, over the past two days Mr Turnbull has moved to gain the support of at least three independents to give his new government greater certainty whatever the final numbers are.
However, while conceding that his party will not be able to form government on this election, a nontheless energised Labor leader Bill Shorten, who has avoided a leadership challenge based on his better than expected performance in the election, has been quick to amplify the doubt and says he is ready for round-two.
“The combination of a PM with no authority, a government with no direction and a Liberal Party at war with itself will see Australians back at the polls within the year,” he told Labor caucus members on Friday.
“After the longest campaign in 50 years, this could well be one of the shortest parliaments in 50 years.”
“We will be campaign-ready from this day onwards,” he said.
TOP IMAGE: Bill Shorten, Leader of the opposition Australian Labor Party and his wife Chloe Bryce walk by posters featuring incumbent prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull on election day, 2 July. Shorten says his party must be ready for another election within the year. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)