Opposition leader Bill Shorten has called on Prime Minister to resign in the wake of the split federal election.
The Labor leader, jubilant from his party’s stronger than expected showing in the election in which there is even a chance of them forming a minority government, was going in for the kill on Monday.
As well as saying Mr Turnbull should step down, he also claimed that the Senate reforms instigated by Mr Turnbull’s government and then the double disolution election triggered soon after had backfired, leading to an even more unruley upper house where the likes of Pauline Hanson will have gained a voice.
“Mr Turnbull proposed Senate reform. He’s made a bad situation even worse,” a bullish Mr Shorten told reporters in western Sydney.
“This is farcical. Mr Turnbull clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing.
“Quite frankly, I think he should quit.
“Malcolm Turnbull is the reason why One Nation is back in the Senate after 18 years.
He also claimed the beliegured PM no longer has the backing of his own party.
“This guy is not up to his day job. He doesn’t know what he is doing, has lost the confidence of his party,” he said.
The result of Saturdays election hangs in the balance with neither side being able to claim a majority, with a handfull of seats still on a knife edge.
Vote counting will resume on Tuesday. Broad opinion suggests a result will be come clearer by Tuesday night or Wednesday.
Mr Turnbull says he is “quietly confident” of eventually securing a majority in the House of Representatives based on the the fact that absentee and postal votes historically favour the Coalition.
However, most pundits agree that even if that does happen, it will be the slimmest of majorities and that a hung parliament is a very likely result.
Either way, if Mr Turnbull is able to form a government, he will then have a Senate even more hostile than the one he maneuvered to replace.
It’s a predicament of his own making, Mr Shorten said, likening the PM to soon-to-be British former-Prime Minister David Cameron and his Brexit undoing.
“There is a fair bit of irony, I think. Mr Turnbull tried to capitalise on the Brexit vote and say therefore because of what happened in England, you had to vote for him in Australia,” Shorten said.
“He Brexited himself. This guy is like the David Cameron of the southern hemisphere.
“He leads a divided party, he has had an election and he has delivered an inferior and unstable outcome.”
IMAGE: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten addresses the media at a press conference in Penrith, Sydney on July 4. The prospect of a hung parliament looms as counting continues after election night on Saturday, with results too close with neither Labor nor the Liberals able to secure an absolute majority victory. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)