Federal election results 2016: Coalition could form majority government as count continues

By Liz Burke, AAP news.com.au

The Prime Minister leaving his Point Piper home on Wednesday. Photo / Gettyimages
The Prime Minister leaving his Point Piper home on Wednesday. Photo / Gettyimages

When results poured in at the weekend, we saw a chastened Turnbull, but yesterday we saw the return a truly confident leader.

Remember the campaign? He was either walking around like he had it in the bag, or hardly walking around at all, acting like he didn't need to campaign in the election he was convinced he had already won.

From Saturday night onwards, members of the media assigned to watch for movement at the Turnbull residence were greeted by a gruff and unenthusiastic leader when he had to leave the house to manage his party's post-election crisis. But yesterday he looked like he knew something we didn't.

And now it looks like now Mr Turnbull was right to be smug.
With 10 of the 15 million votes now counted, the Coalition is edging towards retaining government by a slim majority.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has the Coalition slightly ahead with 74 seats at last count to Labor's 71.

The Coalition now looks likely to hold 76 seats in the 150-seat lower house, as postal votes and recounts of existing votes have favoured Liberal and National candidates over Labor.

There it is, that Malcolm Turnbull smugness is back. The Prime Minister pictures leaving his Point Piper home on Wednesday. Picture: Chris Pavlich

There it is, that Malcolm Turnbull smugness is back. The Prime Minister pictures leaving his Point Piper home on Wednesday. Picture: Chris PavlichSource:News Corp Australia
Yesterday's counting delivered two more seats to the Liberal Party, with Victoria's Dunkley and Chisholm looking to fall in the government's favour.

Postal votes have seen seats like Nationals-held Flynn in rural Queensland and Liberal-held Cowan in Western Australia, which looked to be held by Labor on the night, surge towards the Coalition.

Of the seats still in doubt, Queensland's Forde is more likely to be claimed by the LNP member. Labor's Des Hardman leads by only 265 votes in the Logan electorate, but looks likely to be a Liberal win as more votes are counted.

Postals are also more likely to put the Liberal Party in front in the South Australian seat of Hindmarsh, where the Labor candidate by just 151 votes.
Mr Turnbull declared on Saturday night that he believed the Coalition would be able to form a majority government and has stuck to that message. It's starting to look realistic, but still not certain.

Treasurer Scott Morrison joined in his cries yesterday, saying he too was confident the Coalition wouldn't have to consult with crossbenchers to form a minority government.
But the PM is still preparing for a hung parliament, yesterday using time in his Sydney office to meet with potential kingmaker Nick Xenophon.

He's expected to fly to Queensland today to meet with re-elected MP Bob Katter and other independents, although he may not need them to govern.

The Prime Minister will today meet with Bob Katter, who he may need to lean on in order to form government. Photo / Gettyimages
The Prime Minister will today meet with Bob Katter, who he may need to lean on in order to form government. Photo / Gettyimages

The Prime Minister will today meet with Bob Katter, who he may need to lean on in order to form government.

The Prime Minister will today meet with Bob Katter, who he may need to lean on in order to form government.Source:News Corp Australia

As well as looking ahead to what the potentially chaotic 45th Parliament of Australia may look like, the Coalition is also reflecting on where it went wrong in the campaign it was so sure of winning.

A post-election poll published by the Daily Telegraph today reveals almost 40 per cent of voters rated Medicare as the most important issue of the campaign, showing Labor's "Medi-scare campaign" cut through.

Senior government ministers, including deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop, have conceded the government made some mistakes, and could have gone harder.
"We didn't attack Bill Shorten and the unions in a way that we could have. We didn't expose their record on border protection as we could have. And that was because we wanted to run a positive, optimistic campaign," she said earlier this week.

Meanwhile, as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten continues his victory lap of the nation following the surprise result for Labor, his own leadership could be under threat.
Labor MPs are due to gather in Canberra on Friday to make a decision on the position, despite the result of the election still being unknown.

A snap caucus meeting has been called in accordance with the rules put in place by former leader Kevin Rudd, which automatically throw open the party's leadership if Labor loses an election.

But Mr Shorten is unlikely to lose his job. His predicted successor Anthony Albanese has said he won't be challenging the leader.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten runs his victory lap in Launceston where Labor had a surprise victory. Photo / Gettyimages
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten runs his victory lap in Launceston where Labor had a surprise victory. Photo / Gettyimages

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten runs his victory lap in Launceston where Labor had a surprise victory.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten runs his victory lap in Launceston where Labor had a surprise victory.Source:News Corp Australia

Seats hanging in the balance

Capricornia (Nationals QLD): Sitting LNP MP Michelle Landry is trailing by 732 votes in this Rockhampton-based seat. In 2013, postals flowed strongly to the LNP to give them a narrow victory. It could easily happen again.

Cowan (LibeA)ral W: Looked like a Labor gain on election night but its candidate Anne Aly might get run down by postal votes by the time the count is finalised on Friday week. Sitting MP Luke Simpkins picked up 62 per cent of them in 2013. He's 722 votes behind at the moment.

Forde (LNP QLD): Sitting MP Bert van Manen now leads Labor's Des Hardman by 265 votes in this Logan electorate south of Brisbane. More likely Liberal win as postals are counted.

Herbert (LNP QLD): Sitting MP Ewen Jones is trailing Labor's Cathy O'Toole by 620 votes, but the race is far from over in the Townsville-based seat. Postals are flowing to Libs 62-38 per cent which could get them home.

Hindmarsh (Liberal SA): Former Labor MP Steve Georganas leads by 151 votes over sitting Liberal MP Matt Williams. Postals likely to put Libs just in front.

Flynn (Nationals QLD): Given to Labor on the night but the postals are flowing to sitting MP Ken O'Dowd at more than 60 per cent. That could get him home in a very tight contest. Labor's Zac Beers leads by 1065

- news.com.au

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 10 Dec 2016 18:56:43 Processing Time: 525ms