Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott said this morning he was ready for a "solid day's work" 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 down as Labor party leader.
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 extraordinary day, a tremendous honour."
But, of course, just hours earlier he had 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.
- 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
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 (AEST), 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 (AEST) 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 will hold on there, defying the national swing toward the Coalition.
Malcolm Turnbull will win Wentworth - it was never in doubt, while Labor's Laurie Ferguson will hold the iconic seat of Werriwa, once held by former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.
Tennis legend John Alexander will retain the seat of Bennelong despite a strong challenge from Jason Yat Sen Li.
Labor's Jason Clare, who is considered a possible future Labor leader, will retain his seat of Blaxland.
Former deputy prime minister Wayne Swan's Queensland seat of Lilley is still too close to call.
Fiona 'sex appeal' Scott will win the Western Sydney seat of Lindsay from Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.
Treasurer Chris Bowen will retain his seat of McMahon.
Greens Deputy Leader Adam Bandt will retain his seat of Melbourne.
Bob Katter appears to have held on to his far north Queensland seat of Kennedy.