Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott has wasted no time in 'getting down to business' after leading the coalition to power in a landslide victory over Labor.
Mr Abbott declared Australia "open for business" after becoming the country's 28th prime minister following a decisive swing toward the coalition in Saturday's federal election.
Outgoing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will step as Labor party leader, Bill Shorten is favourite to replace him but there is no obvious successor.
The coalition remains on track for at least 89 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives on the back of a 3.6 per cent national swing against the ALP.
It was business as usual for the incoming Prime Minister this morning, as he rose early and donned the lycra to embark on his normal 6.30am Sunday morning cycle ride with friends.
"It was a very big night but this is just the start of another normal day and there's going to be a fair bit of solid work this morning," he told reporters.
It was not all plain sailing though, as a stage invader raised questions about security.
New minor parties appear set to play a key role in the Senate, with billionaire Clive Palmer's party likely to pick up two spots, in Queensland and Tasmania, and a party for motoring enthusiasts on track to win a seat in Victoria.
Vote counting for the Senate is continuing and preference deals mean even a tiny percentage of the popular vote can influence the outcome.
The Senate will remain under the control of Labor and the Greens until mid-2014 and after that it appears an assortment of parties will play a key role in what Tony Abbott can achieve.
In a surprise result, former rugby league player Glenn Lazarus appears to have (PUP), which is also likely to be represented by Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania.
The Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party's Ricky Muir could secure a Senate spot in Victoria, while the Australian Sports Party may pick up a seat in Western Australia.
Labor's deputy leader Anthony Albanese says he hasn't thought about whether he will contest the party's top job.
"I didn't think about post (election) scenarios - there's time to do that now," he said.
"I'll be happy to serve whoever the caucus chooses and be loyal to them.
"The fact is we have a number of talented people in the Labor party caucus - Bill Shorten, Tony Burke, Chris Bowen, Tanya Plibersek."
More details have emerged of how an intruder managed to jump on stage and crash Tony Abbott’s election victory speech last night.
The man is believed to be Fregmonto Stokes, an anti-coal protester and student from Melbourne, reports Fairfax. He also goes by the pseudonym Twiggy Palmcock.
It is believed he made a fake security wristband made from a yellow lolly wrapper and had earlier tried to gain media accreditation into the event in the Four Season Hotel in Sydney, but was denied.
However, he did manage to later gain entry and stood at the side of the stage just as Abbott was about to declare victory before being bundled off by security staff.
No charges have been laid but police investigations are ongoing.
“While Mr Abbott was mingling in the crowd the man has positioned himself on the stage,” a police spokeswoman said.
“Security staff intervened and removed the man from the area.”
ABBOTT GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS
Tony Abbott has headed into the Sydney CBD as he gets down to business.
Mr Abbott will receive briefings from senior public servants and staff today, before naming his ministry team ahead of his government being sworn in during the next week or so.
In his first official post-election interview she told News Corp:"You have to govern for everyone including the people that didn't vote for you and the people who probably won't ever support you," said Mr Abbott, who said he felt an 'extraordinary weight of responsibility'.
Despite picking up a clear majority in the lower house, the new coalition government won't hold the balance of power in the Senate.
But Mr Abbott said the Senate must not defy the will of Australian voters.
"Scrapping the carbon tax and stopping the boats are the two most urgent priorities," he said.
"I expect the parliament to respect the mandate of an incoming government."
A record number of Australians appear to have cast an informal vote in the federal election.
Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) spokesman Phil Diak says the informal vote appears to have risen from 5.5 per cent in 2010 to 5.9 per cent this year.
Meanwhile, how does the incoming Prime Minister's wife spend the morning after the night before?
"Life goes on," said Margie Abbott.
"I've been out to get some early morning groceries and hopefully the day will be as normal as possible."
It was a good day for Clive Palmer - and he is even taking credit for putting Tony Abbott into the top job.
Election analysts say Mr Palmer is on track to win the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax and his star candidate Glenn Lazarus will win a Senate spot in Queensland.
And Mr Palmer said: "We had six per cent and we preferenced the Liberal Party. The swing against Labor was 4.5 per cent.
"Without Palmer United's preferences, Tony Abbott would not be prime minister."
Elsewhere in Queensland, high-profile Labour candidate and former Queensland Premier Peter Forde has called his LNP opponent Bert Van Manen this morning and officially conceded defeat.
- Coalition on track for 89 seats
- Coalition has won 53.5 per cent of votes on a two-party preferred basis, a swing of 3.6 per cent in its favour
- Labor expected to hold 56 seats
- One seat each going to Clive Palmer, Bob Katter, The Greens' Adam Bandt and Independent Andrew Wilkie
- Coalition could fall three short of a majority when the Senate changes over on July 1, 2014
- Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury is Labor's biggest casualty on the night, losing his seat of Lindsay to Fiona Scott
'Open for business'
Mr Abbott last night addressed his party faithful in a victory speech at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney, declaring that Australia is ‘under new management and open for business’.
However, it was not all plain sailing for Mr Abbott, as a stage invader was tackled and removed just ahead of his victory speech.
Labor is expected to hold 56 seats, with the Australian Greens retaining their sole lower house seat of Melbourne, Bob Katter holding his Queensland seat of Kennedy and Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie retaining Denison.
However, 27 seats remained close after the counting of more than nine million votes with the Australian Electoral Commission expected to continued allocating votes into Sunday.
Mr Abbott claimed victory at about 10.15pm, 40 minutes after Mr Rudd publicly conceded in a 20-minute plus speech.
"I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy," Mr Abbott said.
In his concession speech, Mr Rudd said Labor was still a "fighting force", that despite its losses had performed better than expected, and must unite behind a new leader.
"There comes a time when you know that you've given it your all and the time for the party to further renew its leadership for the future," he told 300 ALP supporters at a function at the Gabba cricket ground in Brisbane.
"For me that time is now."
Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten declined to say whether he would contest the leadership.
By 8pm the results were becoming clear, and pointing to at least a 30-seat majority for Mr Abbott's coalition.
However, the balance of power in Senate likely will remain in minority party hands, although the final composition remained uncertain on Saturday night as counting continued.
It may have to rely on South Australia Independent Nick Xenophon, Palmer United Party's (PUP) Glenn Lazarus from Queensland and possibly One Nation founder Pauline Hanson from NSW on the back of Liberal Democrats preferences.
One of the surprises of election day was billionaire Clive Palmer's PUP attracting 5.7 per cent of the vote in the lower house and 5.2 per cent in the Senate.
"We can win the whole country in the next three years," Mr Palmer said.
Mr Palmer himself may also have won a spot in the lower house after polling strongly in the Queensland seat of Fairfax on a primary basis against the LNP's Ted O'Brien.
Greens leader Christine Milne, whose party polled 8.5 per cent nationally in the lower house, said she feared for the country under an Abbott government.
"I think Australia's going to be in for a shock," she said.
The switch back to Kevin Rudd as Labor's leader appears to have paid off, with the party 'saving the furniture' in key battleground states Queensland and New South Wales.
- Mining magnate Clive Palmer is likely to enter parliament. With counting still underway, he looks set to win the seat of Fairfax.
- One Nation's Pauline Hanson may be on her way to re-entering parliament.
With counting still underway, the controversial former member for Oxley is in line to take the sixth Senate spot in NSW on preferences.
- Labor's Michelle Rowland has bucked the trend in Western Sydney by securing a swing towards her in Greenway.
Ms Rowland previously held the seat by less than one per cent, but appears to have resoundingly defeated gaffe-prone Coalition candidate Jaymes Diaz.
- Eden Monaro is a bellwether seat no more. Labor's Mike Kelly holds on there, defying the national swing toward the Coalition.
- Malcolm Turnbull wins Wentworth - it was never in doubt, while Labor's Laurie Ferguson holds the iconic seat of Werriwa, once held by former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
- Tennis legend John Alexander retains the seat of Bennelong despite a strong challenge from rising star Jason Yat Sen Li.
- Labor's Jason Clare, who is considered a possible future Labor leader, retains his seat of Blaxland.
- Former Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan held on to his Queensland seat of Lilley.
- Fiona 'sex appeal' Scott wins the Western Sydney seat of Lindsay from Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.
- Treasurer Chris Bowen retains his seat of McMahon.
- Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt retains his seat of Melbourne.
- Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey easily retains his seat of North Sydney.
- Tony Abbott has managed a 2.3 per cent swing in his seat of Warringah.
- Labor is fighting for the seat of Reid in western Sydney, while former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has lost his bid for the seat of Forde.
- Bob Katter holds on to his far north Queensland seat of Kennedy.
- Prominent Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella looks to have gone down to a spirited campaign from Independent Cathy McGowan, but counting is ongoing and the results are close.
- Former Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce's move to the lower house has paid off. He will take the seat of New England, formerly held by retiring Independent Tony Windsor.
- Prominent Labor Minister Kate Ellis looks safe in Adelaide.
- Labor's Joel Fitzgibbon is safe in Hunter, while controversial candidate Mal Brough has taken Fisher from former speaker Peter Slipper.
Mr Slipper has received the lowest primary vote for an incumbent in Australian history.
The Coalition appears to have lost the Queensland seat of Leichardt to Labor's Billy Gordon.
- Independent MP Andrew Wilkie is safe in the Tasmanian seat of Denison. ]
- The Liberal Party has taken the seat of Dobell from isgraced former MP Craig Thomson. Mr Thomson received just four per cent of the primary vote.