Australian government claims ‘miracle’ election win

Image result for Morrison’s Liberal-led conservative coalition has won or is leading in 76 seats, the number needed to form a majority government, according to the Australian Electoral Commission. Slightly more than three-quarters of the roughly 17 million votes have been counted.

A jubilant Morrison hugged community members after an early Sunday service at the Horizon Church in Sydney’s southern suburbs, from where he was first elected to parliament in 2007.

“You don’t get to be a prime minister and serve in that capacity unless you first are a member of your local electorate,” he said.

He drew cheers later on Sunday when he arrived in the stands to watch his team, the Cronulla Sharks, in a rugby league match in his beachside electorate.

PM heads to church, football after ‘miracle’ election//Lidia Kelly, Barrett/REUTERS

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked his fellow Pentecostal churchgoers on Sunday after a miraculous election victory that defied years of unfavourable opinion polls and bruised a Labor opposition that had been widely expected to win.

Image result for https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-election/australian-pm-heads-to-church-football-after-miracle-election-win-idUKKCN1SN2LJ
Australian PM heads to church, football after ‘miracle’ election win – Reuters

Morrison’s Liberal-led conservative coalition has won or is leading in 76 seats, the number needed to form a majority government, according to the Australian Electoral Commission. A little more than three-quarters of the roughly 17 million votes cast in the Saturday polls have been counted.

Morrison told raucous supporters late on Saturday, who had earlier seemed resigned to defeat, that he had always believed in miracles.

The result drew comparisons with Republican Donald Trump’s victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were among the first world leaders to congratulate Morrison.

“Congratulations to Scott on a GREAT WIN,” Trump said on Twitter before calling the Australian leader..

Jacinda Ardern, the progressive prime minister of neighbouring New Zealand, also called to congratulate him, saying that Morrison “understands us”.

Opinion polls in Australia had all pointed to a Labor victory. So strong was the expectation the government would fall that one betting agency even paid out bets on a Labor win days before the election.

Morrison, who emerged as an unlikely leader after Liberal party infighting last year, cast himself as the candidate who would work for aspirational voters and the tactic seemed to strike a chord.

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