Australia’s Labor Party has ousted a decade-long right wing coalition government to take control of the country’s 172-seat parliament.
Incoming prime minister Anthony Albanese hailed the victory as an opportunity to “bring Australians together”.
“I want to seek our common purpose and promote unity and optimism, not fear and division. It is a show of strength to collaborate and work with people, not weakness,” he said.
Scott Morrison, the outgoing leader, conceded defeat in a televised address late on Saturday evening to supporters and said he would step down as chief of the Liberal Party.
“I’ve always believed in Australians and their judgement, and I’ve always been prepared to accept their verdicts. And tonight they have delivered their verdict and I congratulate Anthony Albanese in the Labor Party,” Morrison said.
Albanese, 59, will become the fourth Labor prime minister in Australia since the Second World War to seize power from opposition, following Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd.
Labor was projected on Saturday evening to bag 72 seats, the Greens two and independents nine.
The Liberal Party was touted to have held just 50.
Labor is now expected to form a minority government.
Albanese led a campaign that saw him shed his reputation as a supporter of radical left wing policies.
Experts blamed his party’s poor policy offering for its surprise loss to Morrison in Australia’s last election in 2019.