Tony Abbott heads for huge win in Australian elections
07 September 2013
Australia's conservative leader Anthony John "Tony" Abbott looked set to cruise to a landslide victory today as voters punished the Labour government of prime minister Kevin Rudd for six years of turbulent rule and for not doing enough to leverage a waning mining boom, Reuters reports.
Abbott, a former boxer, Rhodes scholar and trainee priest, promised measures to restore political stability, slash taxes and act tough against asylum seekers arriving by boat.
According to commentators, more than anything, the Conservative win had to do with frustration over Labour's leadership issues.
Rudd was dumped by Labor in 2010, for Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard, but he was reinstated as leader in June 2013 in a desperate bid by Labour to stay in power.
According to former Labour prime minister Bob Hawke who spoke to Sky News, as voting ended in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmanian states that the election was lost by the government, more than won by the opposition.
A Nine television network exit poll showed support for Abbott's Liberal-National Party coalition at 54.5 per cent, as against 45.5 per cent for Labor.
That would give Abbott a majority of over 40 seats in the 150-seat parliament, and ring the curtain on the country's first minority government since World War Two. The past three years had seen Greens and independents support the Labor party.
Tony Abbott would become Australia's 28th prime minister. Labour, however, managed to hold on to seats in Queensland and NSW that senior party figures feared were lost.
After two hours of counting on the east coast, Labour appeared set to lose about 15 seats.
According to commentators, Greens MP Adam Bandt would likely retain his seat in parliament. Billionaire, Clive Palmer had a chance to win the Queensland seat of Fairfax.
According to deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese voters had punished Labour for its disunity.
He said, many of the standards and values he and others had fought for had been lost, with the party beset by personal squabbles.
According to Peter Beattie, the former Queensland premier and Labor candidate for the Queensland seat of Forde, Australians had not liked Labor's leadership divisions.