May 21, 2022 - World

Australians vote out Scott Morrison's conservative coalition

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Melbourne on May 21.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Melbourne on May 21. Photo: Mick Tsikas-Pool/Getty Images

Australians voted out Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Saturday, potentially paving a way for the country's opposition to form a coalition government to replace his center-right Liberal-National coalition.

The latest: Morrison conceded defeat Saturday night despite outstanding uncounted votes, according AP.

What they're saying: “I believe it’s very important that this country has certainty. I think it’s very important this country can move forward,” Morrison said.

  • “And particularly over the course of this week with the important meetings that are being held, I think it’s vitally important there’s a very clear understanding about the government of this country,” he added.

Why it matters: Early poll results showed opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party winning at least 70 seats of the 76 needed to form a government in the country's House of Representative, according to the New York Times.

  • It was not yet known if the Labor Party could reach the necessary 76 seats to achieve a majority government, though it can form a coalition government through alliances with independent and minor-party winners.
  • Doing so would end the conservative coalition government's nine years of governance in Australia and would mark Labor's fourth victory in federal elections since World War II.

Yes, but: If it can't form a government, it could result in a rare hung parliament and a minority government, which hasn't occurred since 2013.

The big picture: Early results suggest that Morrison, who took office in 2018, may have exhausted voters with his combative style of governing, according to the Washington Post.

  • Polls are now closed, though the record number of mail-in votes from the coronavirus pandemic will be added to the count on Sunday, according to AP.
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