Australia’s new leader could have to be sworn-in as acting prime minister in order to attend a summit in Washington with Joe Biden. Votes are still being counted in Australia’s poll.
It is not clear if Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party can form a majority government, or rely on support from smaller parties and independents who won seats.
He will meet with Mr Biden, Fumio Kishida, the Japanese Prime Minister, and Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Labor, which needed 76 seats in order to govern itself, was declared the winner after securing 72 seats and 68.5% votes.
The Liberal Party’s outgoing prime Minister Scott Morrison is leading a heavily defeated conservative coalition that has won just 51 seats, well below its mere-majority of76 in the 2019 election.
This is a result voter anger at inaction on climate change following some of Australia’s worst floods and most destructive fires.
This means that the composition of the new parliament will be less climate-skeptic than the one which supported Morrison’s pro coal mining administration.
There are 15 seats for smaller parties or independents.
Three of these were secured by the Green Party, 12 by non-aligned candidate candidates, and up to nine independents who campaigned for policies of integrity and equality.
Their most successful candidates were women. This is partly because their success was seen as a rebuke to Morrison’s handling of gender issues, which included sex scandals that rocked parliament in his last three-year term.
Labor will either form a majority government or a minority government. However, the support for both major parties fell by more than 6 percent from the 2019 election. Labor’s vote also dropped by about 1.2%.
Albanese promised to unite Australians, increase social service investment and end the climate wars.
While walking his dog Sunday morning, Mr Albanese spoke to reporters and referred to a more cooperative approach in dealing with parliamentary business. He described his victory as a “really big moment”.
He stated, “I want to change the nation.” I would like to see politics change in this country.
Green leader Adam Bandt stated that his party would work with the next government in order to “tackle climate crisis” as well as an “inequality crisis”, which he claimed was threatening Australia.
He stated that the Liberal vote was in decline, while Labor votes were up.
“People have turned to the Greens more than ever before…because we said that politics must be done differently.”
Labor pledged more financial assistance and a stronger safety net to Australia’s struggling with high housing prices and the highest levels of inflation since 2001.
The party also proposed a Pacific defense school as a response to China’s possible military presence in the Solomon Islands. This would be in line with Australia’s foreign policy.
It is also aiming to combat climate change by achieving a 43% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which is a much more ambitious target.
After an internal party coup in 2018, Morrison was elected prime minister and vowed to step down as Liberal leader.
Since his unexpected 2019 election win, his popularity has declined dramatically. He also took a vacation in Hawaii during the devastating bushfires of 2020.