Australia (ABC News) — Anthony Albanese will return Labor from the political wilderness to government, seizing power from the Coalition after it has been almost a decade in office.
While it remains unclear if Labor can form a majority, the ALP is on track to finish ahead of the Coalition and more likely to reach a minority government, the ABC has projected.
“The Coalition cannot get into government,” ABC election analyst Antony Green said.
This win means Mr Albanese will replace Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, making him the 31st person to hold the nation’s top job.
The son of a single parent who grew up in public housing, Mr Albanese has reached the pinnacle of his career after 26 years in the parliament.
“It is an incredible honour,” Mr Albanese told reporters after leaving his house to head to speak at a party event.
Introduced by Labor Senate Leader Penny Wong, Mr Albanese took to the stage and claimed victory.
“I say to my fellow Australians, thank you for this extraordinary honour,” he said.
“Tonight the Australian people have voted for change.
“I am humbled by this victory and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia.”
Mr Morrison took responsibility for the loss and said he would step down as Liberal leader.
“To my colleagues tonight who have had to deal with very difficult news and who have lost their seats tonight, I, as leader, take responsibility for the wins and the loses,” he told the Liberal Party faithful on Saturday night.
“That is the burden and that is the responsibility of leadership.”
Mr Morrison congratulated Mr Albanese, wished the incoming government well and said he would pave the way for the Labor leader to be sworn in as prime minister, to allow him to travel to Tokyo for a meeting with world leaders on Tuesday.
“I always believed in Australians and their judgement and I’ve always been prepared to accept their verdicts and tonight they have delivered their verdict,” Mr Morrison told supporters in Sydney.