The counts have sharpened the picture of the Australian election's tight outcome.

It is unlikely that either the Coalition or Labor will reach the 76 seats to form a majority government.

The Coalition has the best chance to form a government but would have to work with Independents.



Coalition 72
Labor 67
Greens 1
Independent 4
In doubt 6


1 Chisholm (Labor VIC):
Given to the Liberals on the night but late counting favoured Labor's Stefanie Perri, giving her a lead of just 25 votes. Labor slightly favoured.

2 Dunkley (Liberal VIC):
A 5.3 per cent swing against the Government has put this Liberal seat on the Mornington Peninsula in doubt. Liberal Chris Crewther is leading by 400 votes. More pre-polls and postals likely to break his way

3 Forde (LNP QLD):
Labor's Des Hardman leads sitting MP Bert van Manen by 143 votes in this Logan electorate south of Brisbane. Postals likely to favour the Libs. Too close to call.

4 Gilmore (Liberal NSW):
Liberal Ann Sudmalis leads by 405 votes with 85 per cent of the vote counted. Postals likely to get her over the line in this NSW south coast seat.

5 Herbert (LNP QLD):
Sitting MP Ewen Jones is trailing Labor's Cathy O'Toole by 1084 votes, but the race is far from over. Postals, especially from defence personnel, will strongly flow to Jones. Line-ball.

6 Hindmarsh (Liberal SA):
Former Labor MP Steve Georganas leads by 380 votes with 78 per cent of the count finalised. Sitting MP Matt Williams will have to rely on postals.


Coalition 75
Labor 70
Greens 1
Independents 4


"It is highly likely that we will be able to eke out a majority. If not a majority then it would be definitely the largest party or coalition in government."
- Senior Liberal senator Scott Ryan.

"It is quite possible that Labor forms government after this, but there is obviously a lot of water to go under the bridge."
- Senior Labor MP Richard Marles.

"I went to this election with a position that I would not enter into any form of agreement with any party to allow them to form government and nothing has changed."
- Independent MP Andrew Wilkie.


Australians might know not for a month the make-up of the new parliament. And a second poll to resolve the inconclusive result is not out of the question. Australian Electoral Commission spokesman Phil Diak said more than 11 million ballots for the House of Representatives had been counted already. But it could take up to a month for the rest to be tallied. "The commission won't declare seats until there's a mathematical impossibility of the leader being overtaken, as it were, in any seat," he told ABC TV. "So that's often a lot later than when victory is claimed or a seat is conceded." The AEC will count votes from mobile centres today that are unlikely to have any impact on the overall count. More than one million postal votes have been returned to the commission so far and more can be accepted if they are received by Friday week. The Senate count could take up to five weeks.