Australian election 2016 Coalition closes on victory

first_imgA Coalition government is to be returned in Australia after one of the closest election results in recent history.Despite counting continuing in six seats that remain in doubt (three of which would enable the Coalition to form a majority government), yesterday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull travelled to Melbourne to sure up further support from crossbench independents in the event of the need to form a minority government.At least one independent, Queensland MP Bob Katter, has agreed to offer “supply and confidence” to the Coalition in the event of a hung parliament. By Friday morning, with 83.1 per cent of votes counted, the Coalition was six seats ahead of Labor on 73 and 66 seats respectively. Seventy-six lower house seats are required to form a majority government. Independent and minor parties have won five seats.It is likely Labor will win the two-party-preferred vote across Australia, with the party’s showing bouyed by voters’ concerns over Medicare.Six electorates – Capricornia, Cowan, Flynn, Forde, Herbert and Hindmarsh – are yet to be called. In most of these seats Labor and the Coalition are split by less than one per cent of the vote, but the latest indications on Friday suggested at least two seats – Forde and Gilmore – will fall to the Coalition.Counting will continue over the weekend and into next week to decide the final results.SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS FOR GREEK AUSTRALIAN CANDIDATESJulia Banks takes Chisholm With 81 per cent of the votes counted in the Melbourne marginal seat of Chisholm, Julia Banks, the Liberal’s candidate, defeated Labor’s Stefanie Perri with a remarkable 2.9 per cent swing.Speaking to Neos Kosmos, the former Greek Australian lawyer said she was “very humbled” by the result and “excited about the opportunities ahead”. “I will work hard for the people of Chisholm as their parliamentary representative to ensure that our community is a great place to live so we can look to the future with confidence”. Ms Banks graciously acknowledge the campaign of her Labor opponent, Stefanie Perri, and thanked the retiring member for Chisholm, Anna Burke, “for her service to our community”. Joined by Malcolm Turnbull on Friday, Ms Banks introduced the PM to her mother, who she described as her greatest inspiration.“My mum is my greatest role model, always fighting for equal opportunity and gender and cultural diversity and to be representing the people of Chisholm – the third most culturally diverse electorate in this country – is just such a great honour,” she said.Mr Turnbull responded by saying Australia was “the most successful multicultural society in the world”.“You embody that. This is modern Australia. Our best assets are our people,” he said.Georganas neck and neck in Hindmarsh With a 1.9 per cent swing to Labor and 85 per cent of the votes counted, former Labor MP Steve Georganas is banking on absentee votes to get him over the line against the Liberal’s Matt Williams.Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Mr Georganas, who led by just 68 votes on Friday said: “We’re still in front, and while the postal votes don’t usually favour us, we’re hoping the absentee votes can counteract that. It’s trending as we predicted, the bulk of postal votes have been counted, and now there are over 7,000 to 8,000 absentee votes to count.”Mr Georganas added that the overriding lesson from the 2016 election and Labor’s resurgence was that voters distrust the Coalition’s policies and messages. “It’s shown people are not confident in Malcolm Turnbull, and they didn’t understand what he was talking about and that he has to clarify what he’s doing with Medicare.” With the voting count so tight, a final result may not be declared in Hindmarsh until next Friday.Adios Nic Varvaris A four per cent swing against Liberal incumbent Nicolas Varvaris has ended his one term as Barton’s MP in south Sydney, with Linda Burney the first Indigenous female lower house MP winning for Labor. Ms Burney secured 45,059 votes in comparison to Mr Varvaris’ 32,259 votes.No way back for Sophie Mirabella Sophie Mirabella’s political career may have finally run its course, with independent MP Cathy McGowan strengthening her hold on the former Liberal frontbencher’s seat of Indi. Ms McGowan scored a 4.4 per cent swing against her, according to the 81 per cent of votes counted. Ms McGowan secured 42,970 votes against Ms Mirabella’s’ 35,709 votes.Vamvakinou retains Calwell Veteran Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou has easily retained her seat of Calwell with a 4.5 per cent swing. With 72 per cent of the vote counted, Ms Vamvakinou held 69 per cent of the preference count compared to the Liberals’ John Hsu on 31 per cent.Ms Vamvakinou told Neos Kosmos she was “thrilled to have been returned”, adding that she looked forward to “a productive new term”. “Labor performed strongly and we have shown that the Australian people will not tolerate attacks on their way of life or their standard of living,” she said.Team Xenophon set for Senate threesome Nick Xenophon’s NXT party has picked up three seats on the Senate crossbench and in the Lower House, NXT’s Rebekha Sharkie has unseated former Liberal minister Jamie Briggs in the seat of Mayo.Downplaying earlier expectations that his party would be the decisive crossbench element in a new parliament, Senator Xenophon said: “There will hopefully be three senators from the Nick Xenophon Team, as well as Rebekha Sharkie in the seat of Mayo, and that’s a pretty good set of numbers for (me) to have a fairly powerful say (in parliament).” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more