Photo: Getty Images.
  • Final results for the House of Representatives unlikely to be known tonight. Most likely outcome is a slim Coalition victory, but a hung Parliament is still possible.
  • Swing to Labor at over 3% nationally
  • Huge swings in some individual marginal seats against the Coalition; Nick Xenophon Team ousts Jamie Briggs in South Australian seat of Mayo
  • Pauline Hanson is on track to be elected to the Senate
  • Labor picks up seats around the country including Bass in Tasmania, Solomon in the NT and Barton in Sydney, where Linda Burney will become Australia’s first female indigenous MP
  • ABC projecting 73 seats to the Coalition, 66 to Labor, and 5 seats undecided.

Below is our coverage of the count as it unfolded through the night. Times are AEST.


“We have every confidence that we will form a Coalition majority government,” he begins.

“It is a very close count.”

Pre-poll count continues until 2am, but the PM suggests we don’t hang around for them. Thank you.

Final result may not be known until Tuesday, Turnbull warns, when the count resumes.

[Anthony Green explained that because ballot papers went missing at the last election, the AEC wants to first secure the ballots before it starts counting again.]

Back to Turnbull, who is invoking former PM John Howard.

Howard told him it’s like 1998 – his first re-election campaign after winning in 1996, which nearly broke, but ultimately made Howard’s leadership as the nation’s second-longest serving PM.

Now the current PM turns his attention to Labor, which offered “some of the systematic, well-funded lies ever peddled in Australia”.

“No doubt the police will investigate,” the PM says, saying SMS messages purporting to be from Medicare were sent to voters today.

Turnbull is spending much of his time pounding the ALP.

“The Labor has no capacity to form a stable majority government, that is a fact.”

He wants to talk about why he held a double dissolution election.

“That was not a political tactic,” Turnbull says. “We need to restore the rule of law to the construction industry.”

This is a little strange. It’s 12.30am and we’re listening to the whole ABCC argument one more time. Is that because it largely went unmentioned during the actual campaign?

Anyone opposed to the double dissolution is suggesting the government “let the CFMEU get on with whatever they like and not challenge that”.

It sounds like a pitch to the party’s right wing, especially after Andrew Bolt’s call for his resignation.

“This is time for a clear-eyed assessment of our challenges and opportunities,” he says, seeking to unite the nation.

“We will reach out to unite Australians with a common purpose.”

The alternative is a “road to debt and deficit”.

Labor have given the nation “a pretty shameful episode” in election history, he concludes. It’s 12.44am.


Even in 2010, Gillard and Abbott spoke before midnight. This is the eight week campaign that keeps on giving.

Turnbull left his Sydney home about 11.45pm to head to the Sofitel Wentworth hotel. How do you spin this one? We’re about to find out. There’s never been a more exciting time.


“The Labor Party is back!” he begins. No one expected this result.

“Three years after the Liberals came to power in a landslide, they have lost their mandate,” he says.

“Whatever happens next week, Mr Turnbull will never be able to claim that the people of Australia accepted his economic platform.

“He will never again be able to promise the stability which he has completely failed to deliver tonight.”

And then he says, one more time, in case you missed it during the election.

“We will save Medicare.”

And remember:


“Being called to serve your country in the parliament is a rare honour and privilege indeed,” says the Maribyrnong MP reelected for a fourth term.

This is a pretty good leader’s speech. And a good Labor speech.


Time to take a breath.

We’re not going to get a result tonight and the most likely outcome is still a slim but workable majority for the Coalition. But here’s an observation from Julia Gillard’s former press secretary:

Labor has surprised everyone, even themselves. Bill Shorten’s campaign on Medicare worked. Malcolm Turnbull pitched himself as a leader who could deliver confidence and certainty. As things stand, neither is likely in this next parliament.

In all likelihood he is set to remain as prime minister but a slim majority means his agenda will be crimped by the extra care required on managing the back bench and soothing the anger in some quarters of the broader Liberal Party about the high-stakes double-dissolution strategy which does not, at this point, appear to have paid off.

And that’s before we get to dealing with the Senate. One of the challenges that the business community has been pointing to has been the problems that arise with policy uncertainty, especially in terms of how it clouds investment decisions because political promises cannot be taken at face value. It will be some time before we get a solid handle on the exact composition of the Senate but the early indications, with Derryn Hinch claiming a seat, One Nation putting in a strong showing and Nick Xenophon closing in on three seats in South Australia, are that the Senate will be just as fractious as before. Or more.

2243 – THE WESTERN SYDNEY SEAT OF LINDSAY IS STILL TIGHT: Sitting Coalition MP Fiona Scott has seen a swing of more than 3.5% against her in the marginal seat of Lindsay. Here’s the latest with 63% of the vote counted, and Labor’s Emma Husar is slightly ahead.

2219 – DERRYN HINCH CLAIMS A SENATE SEAT: The controversial broadcaster who was running for a Senate seat in Victoria says he’s over the line:

Derryn Hinch with Parliamentary privilege. It’s going to be wild.

2209 – THE RECRIMINATIONS ARE UNDERWAY. Conservative commentator Andrew Bolt has published an open letter to Malcolm Turnbull on his blog. It’s headlined “Malcolm Turnbull – you are finished“. Here’s how it ends:

There is no way you can seriously claim that this result is better than anything Abbott could have achieved.

Abbott picked up seven seats at the 2010 election and another 15 in the 2013 election. You have lost between 10 and 15 seats and dumped key Liberal values in doing so.

You have been a disaster. You betrayed Tony Abbott and then led the party to humiliation, stripped of both values and honour.


The rest is here.

And more:

2150 – PAULINE HANSON IS BACK: Two decades after Pauline Hanson first turned up in parliament, the One Nation founder appears to have staged a comeback. Her One Nation party has cleaned up almost 20% of the primary vote in the lower house seats of Hinkler and almost 9% in Longman. She also has a quota for the senate, and aided by the double dissolution election, could potentially grab a second one, although the count has only just begun.

2142 – LABOR TAKES LONGMAN: Labor’s Susan Lamb looks set to take the Queensland seat of Longman from Liberal MP Wyatt Roy. Currently, there’s a 9% swing to Labor with 62.17% votes counted.

2131 – UH OH:


An observation from Coalition strategist Mark Textor just now, however:

The pre-poll vote in this election has been record-setting. And if undecided voters were swayed by the Medicare scare campaign from Labor over the past fortnight, the earlier votes won’t be as affected.

2107 – TANYA PLIBERSEK WON’T SAY BILL SHORTEN SHOULD STAY AS LEADER: Very weird moment on Sky News just now as they crossed to Tanya Plibersek declaring victory in her seat of Sydney. David Speers asked her repeatedly to say that Shorten should remain as leader and she wouldn’t, saying instead that it was time to enjoy the evening and that Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership of the Coalition was perhaps a bigger question.

Bizarre for the deputy leader of the opposition.

Plibersek and former Prime Minster Kevin Rudd in July 2013. Photo: Getty Images

2055 – PATERSON GOES TO LABOR – AND ONE NATION GRABS OVER 9000 VOTES: The retirement of Bob Baldwin in the seat of Paterson put the seat in play and Labor has snatched it, with the candidate declaring victory a short time ago.

But one surprise in the vote was the showing for Graham Burston, the One Nation candidate, who had over 9,300 votes with 60% counted.

2047 – THE LATEST PROJECTION: This is via the ABC:

A little early yet but the government appears on track. The swing has been somewhat stronger than expected, however.

2039 – THE GREENS ARE IN WITH A REAL CHANCE IN BATMAN: As expected The Greens have put in a strong showing in the Melbourne seat of Batman, currently held by Labor’s David Feeney. Up the road in the seat of Melbourne, Adam Bandt of The Greens is on track to hold his seat comfortably. Here’s the latest from Batman with 16% counted.

It’s a squeaker.

2033 – ANDREW WILKIE SAYS HE WON’T STRIKE DEALS WITH EITHER PARTY IN THE EVENT OF A HUNG PARLIAMENT: The independent MP for Denison just said on Sky News that in the event of a hung parliament he will not strike a binding agreement with either party for the term of the parliament, but instead has pledged to consider issues individually on their merits. With Coalition seats falling to Labor, a hung parliament remains an outside possibility from tonight’s count.

Wilkie is on track to retain his seat comfortably.

2029 – THE NORTHERN TERRITORY SEAT OF SOLOMON WILL FALL TO LABOR: With a swing against her of over 10% so far after 8% of the votes have been counted, Country Liberals MP Natasha Griggs is on track to lose her seat to Labor candidate Luke Gosling. In a desperate last-minute move, Griggs decided to direct preferences to the far-right Rise Up Australia.

2022 – ALBO IS CRUSHING THE GREENS IN GRAYNDLER: The inner west seat was one The Greens were hoping to make a strong contest for. But with 7% of the vote counted, the vote for Labor incumbent Anthony Albanese is looking in rude health.


The ludicrously-named Science Party candidate Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, meanwhile, has managed to pick up almost 500 votes.

2013 – BARNABY JOYCE LOOKS SET TO HOLD ON COMFORTABLY IN NEW ENGLAND: The deputy prime minister is ahead of Independent Tony Windsor by 55-45 on the TPP with more than a quarter of votes counted. It was a highly-anticipated race with Windsor deciding to come out of retirement to try and win his old seat back.

Photo: BarnabyJoyceMP/ Facebook.

1950 – 24.4% COUNTED IN WARRINGAH, AND TONY ABBOTT HAS SEEN A BIG SWING AGAINST HIM : The former prime minister is set to hold his seat, although there’s been a swing against him in what is one of the safest Liberal seats in the country.

1938 – EDEN-MONARO LOOKS LIKE IT COULD BE TAKEN BY LABOR: Mike Kelly is ahead of the Coalition’s Peter Hendy 52-48 on the TPP with almost 10% of votes counted. He’s behind in the primary vote but Greens preferences are helping his cause.

1934 – A MASSIVE SWING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT IN ANOTHER WESTERN SYDNEY SEAT. With more than 7% of the votes counted in Macarthur there is a huge swing of more than 10% against the government in this division which takes in the Campbelltown area. Sitting MP Russell Mathieson is looking in deep trouble against Labor’s Mike Freelander on the two-party preferred vote.


1930 – SENIOR LIBERAL SAYS COALITION WILL LOSE MAYO TO THE NICK XENOPHON TEAM: Michael Kroger says on Sky News that Jamie Briggs will lose the seat of Mayo to Rebekha Sharkie, Briggs’ former staffer who is running against him.

1921 – LINDA BURNEY IS CLAIMING VICTORY FOR LABOR IN BARTON: Australia will have its first female indigenous member of the House of Representatives with Linda Burney claiming victory in the southern Sydney seat of Barton. There was a swing of just under 4% against the government in the seat, with Nickolas Varvaris, the sitting MP, being ousted.

1911 – ANDREW NIKOLIC IS IN DEEP TROUBLE IN BASS: The Coalition MP, who has built a strong profile in his first term in parliament after being elected in 2013, has seen a massive swing against him in early counting for the seat of Bass in Tasmania. This is with almost 5% counted and the gap is starting to look irretrievable.


1904 – EARLY COUNT SHOWS COALITION VOTE HOLDING UP IN PETRIE: Luke Howarth has an early swing to him in Petrie, the Brisbane seat which is the most marginal in the country. With 1.5% of the vote counted – still very early – he is looking in good shape against Jacqui Pedersen of Labor.


1848 – EARLY COUNT SHOWS A 2% SWING TO LABOR: With counting underway in the eastern states, we’ve got the first read on the national swing. It’s only 23,000 votes or so, but still:


Labor would need a uniform swing of around 4% to win enough seats to snatch a win.


1839 – TONY WINDSOR BANS NEWS LTD: Tony Windsor, who is trying to take out Barnaby Joyce in New England, has a sign up at his campaign office saying “no News Limited media allowed”. He told Leigh Sales: “I don’t want them here. That’s what it’s about. That’s what it says.”

1819 – GALAXY SAYS THE SWING WILL BE AROUND 3.2% IN NSW: David Briggs from Galaxy has laid out the findings of Galaxy’s exit poll. He says the swing away from the Coalition has been smallest in Victoria, and there is also a potential small gain for Labor in South Australia. There are a number of NSW marginal seats however, which may change hands. Briggs says there are eight in play. Labour would need a uniform swing of around 4% to form government, so if the Galaxy poll is right Labor looks likely to fall short. Here’s Briggs:

1816 – PEAK DEMOCRACY SAUSAGE: Twitter Australia shows how #DemocracySausage has trended through the day:

Some of this was no doubt down to Bill Shorten’s controversial sausage-eating technique.

1800 – SENATE VOTING CONFUSION: “Up to” or “no more than”? There is some concern about the advice being given to voters about the Senate voting paper. The Guardian reports:

Voters across the country have expressed alarm at potentially misleading advice from Australian Electoral Commission officials about how to vote under the new Senate rules.

The confusing, and at times incorrect, advice raises questions about the AEC’s preparedness to implement major changes to Australia’s voting laws.

On the day of the federal election people say they have been confused by official advice that has varied from poll booth to poll booth.

Under the Senate voting change, voters are now supposed to number at least six boxes above the line, or at least 12 boxes below the line.

However, some voters say they have been told they cannot number “more than” six boxes, and others have been told they can number “up to” six boxes.

There’s more here.

1747 – GALAXY EXIT POLL: It could be a long evening…

1735 – WATCHING MAYO: One of the fascinating contests to watch will be the seat of Mayo in South Australia. Jamie Briggs, the former government minister who fell from grace after an incident with a public servant in a Hong Kong bar, is in serious danger of losing his seat to the Nick Xenophon Team candidate, Rebekha Sharkie.

Sharkie actually worked for Briggs as a staffer in the past and could now take his seat. NXT has been polling at over 20% in South Australia, the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country at 7%.

Briggs was excoriated by former SA Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith today when he spoke to the media after casting his vote in Adelaide.

The ABC reports:

A former Liberal leader in South Australia gave his backing to the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) as he cast his federal election vote.

Martin Hamilton-Smith was scathing of his local Liberal member Jamie Briggs when he emerged from a polling booth in the Adelaide Hills.

“I think Jamie, apart from actively helping to rip Holden down and the automotive industry in SA, was very unhelpful on submarines and frigates,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.

“He wasn’t on our side on that issue. You need a local member who’s batting for SA and SA jobs and SA workers.”

With friends like these…

1725 – TURNBULL’S DAY: Malcolm Turnbull took a trip out to western Sydney today on the train to visit polling stations and shared some obligatory selfies along the way.

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