Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie backs Turnbull

Photo: Andrew Wilkie – Independent for Denison/ Facebook.

Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie is the latest crossbencher to announce his support of supply and confidence in the Coalition government.

Wilkie, who has been re-elected to his Tasmanian seat of Denison, said there was “no conceivable way” Labor would govern and the final result would be a minority or majority coalition government.

Here’s the statement Wilkie posted to his website today.

It appears that Malcolm Turnbull will continue to be the prime minister, either with a slim majority or with the support of other cross-benchers. As close as Bill Shorten has got, there is no conceivable way he will be in a position to form government.

To be absolutely clear, I remain steadfast that I will not enter into any deal with any party in order to help them form government. But nor will I be destructive, especially at a time like this when more than ever the country needs level heads and certainty.

My focus now turns to doing what I can to help settle the situation down and foster stable government. To that end I repeat my position that I will continue to vote on parliamentary business on its merits, and consequently not support a vote against budget supply or confidence in the government unless clearly warranted, for example in a case of malfeasance.

Wilkie follows Queensland independent MP Bob Katter who yesterday agreed to guarantee supply and confidence for the caretaker PM Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party.

It now looks like we will have a clear picture of the results today.

Senior Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has already declared victory for the Coalition.

Pyne described the Liberal Party as an “election-winning machine”, saying the Coalition has 74 lower-house seats “in the bank” and is “very likely” to have 77 when counting concludes in the Queensland seats of Herbert, Flynn and Capricornia.

“The truth is Labor lost the election; the Liberal Party won it; it’s our sixth victory out of the last eight; we are the Hawthorn of Australian politics.”

However, Turnbull has said he’ll wait for the count.

“Christopher is a very confident colleague of mine and he is entitled to express his naturally optimistic and confident view,” he said today.

“Australians have voted, we respect their decision, there are many lessons in that election for all of us.

“For us, for the Liberal Party, we’re taking those lessons to heart very seriously and we respect the votes that have been cast and one way we show that respect is by waiting for the counting to be completed, or completed to the point where the decision is claimed.”

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