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Labor to form government after Liberal vote collapses
Scott Morrison to step down as Liberal leader
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg fronts cameras in strange speech
Teal independents claim Liberal heartland
Greens vote surges in Brisbane
Scott Morrison has been dramatically turfed from office with voters flocking to independents and the Greens in a stunning election result that will see Labor form government.
Follow along with live updates below.
Albanese sets agenda for new government in rousing speech
11.50pm: Addressing supporters and television cameras shortly before midnight, Mr Albanese thanked the outgoing PM for his time in office and promised to lead a "courageous" government.
"I say to my fellow Australians, thank you for this extraordinary honour. Tonight the Australian people have voted for change. I am humbled by this victory and I'm honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as the 31st Prime Minister of Australia.
"My Labor team will work every day to bring Australians together. And I will lead a government worthy of the people of Australia. A government as courageous and hard working and caring as the Australian people are themselves.
Mr Albanese sad he wanted to make Australia into a "renewable superpower", lift productivity, lift wages and seize on opportunities available to the country.
"Together we can strengthen universal healthcare through Medicare. We can protect universal superannuation. And we can write universal childcare into that proud tradition," he said to cheers.
The new PM said Labor will establish a national integrity commission and "embrace Uluru Statement from the Heart".
'Australians have chosen hope'
11.45pm: Introducing the new prime minister, Labor Senator Penny Wong said Australians had chosen hope.
"Australians have chosen and they have chosen change. Australians have chosen and they have chosen hope. Australians have chosen and they have looked to the future – a better future for all. A government that will act on climate change. A government for women. A government that will look to unify. To bring people together, not to divide. A Labor government."
Labor breaches Liberal stronghold in WA
11.25pm: Labor's Zaneta Mascarenhas has become the first woman to win the seat of Swan in the electorate's 101-year history, one of several Liberal seats to fall in Western Australia on election night.
The opposition will take the seats of Swan, Pearce and Hasluck from the Liberal Party, according to ABC projections, as vote counting continues late on Saturday. It is also ahead in the usually safe Liberal-held seat of Tangney.
High-profile independent candidate Kate Chaney is also waging a forceful challenge against her Liberal rival in the traditional Liberal stronghold of Curtin.
The significant swing in the nation's west could be enough to help Labor govern in its own right with a majority of seats, meaning it wouldn't need to rely on any Greens or independents to pass legislation.
- with AAP
'Humbled' Scott Morrison fronts supporters, will step down
11pm: Scott Morrison says Australia needs to move forward, congratulating Anthony Albanese on his election victory.
While Labor hasn't exactly romped home, the Liberals were soundly rejected by voters across the country.
"It's a difficult job for Liberals and Nationals around the country as nights like this always are. They are humbling but so is victory," Mr Morrison said.
"Tonight, I have spoken to the Leader of the Opposition and the incoming Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese and I've congratulated him on his election victory this evening.
"On a night like tonight it is proper to acknowledge the functioning of our democracy. I've always believed in Australians and their judgement and I've always been prepared to accept their verdicts and tonight they have delivered their verdict and I congratulate Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party. I wish him and his government all the very best.
"Now there are many votes still to count, that is true. There are many pre-polls and postal [votes] that will still come in. But I believe it's very important that this country has certainty. I think it's very important this country can move forward."
Mr Morrison said he will step down as Liberal leader at the next party room meeting.
Dr Monique Ryan thanks community after stunning win
10.50pm: After toppling the treasurer, Dr Monique Ryan has praised the "power of the people" after campaigning on climate, integrity and equality.
"Mr Frydenberg has thanked his family. I would like to thank mine. There is about 1000 members of my family here tonight. There is a thousands more out there. Kooyong is never going to be quite the same again.
"We started because we wanted action on climate change and we felt that it was the most important challenge of our time. Our government was not listening to us, so we have changed the Government. And that is the power of the people."
— 10 News First Melbourne (@10NewsFirstMelb) May 21, 2022
Peter Dutton acknowledges 'pain' of colleagues
10.40pm: Peter Dutton has narrowly held on to his seat of Dickson, according to projections with more than half the vote counted, but has given a speech to supporters acknowledging the carnage for the party tonight.
"We've had a terrible day today," he said.
"There are colleagues around the country, good people, who have potentially lost their seats. There are still thousands and thousands of postal votes and pre-poll votes to count. So there's some hope in some of those seats. In many, the race is very tight. I want to acknowledge the pain they're going through tonight, their families, their supporters and our supporters across the country."
Voters call for Morrison concession speech
10:20pm: It's been a shocking night for Scott Morrison. And voters are starting to wonder where the vanquished Liberal leader is.
With counts still rolling in from WA and tight contests still playing out in other states, Labor is waiting to see if it will have a majority of 76 seats or more. It currently sits on 72.
But Morrison should be calling his Labor counterpart pretty soon with congratulations.
— Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) May 21, 2022
It’s not your job anymore @ScottMorrisonMP. Where’s the concession speech?
— Sagittarius A* (@fictillius) May 21, 2022
Need a concession speech ASAP so I can go to bed.
— Cameron Kusher (@cmkusher) May 21, 2022
Presume Scott asking Jenny to give concession speech?
— Craig Reucassel (@craigreucassel) May 21, 2022
Josh Frydenberg appears, gives effective concession speech
10.05pm: The federal treasurer has appeared, giving what looked and sounded like a concession speech to supporters.
"So while it's mathematically possible that we win in Kooyong, it's definitely difficult," he said.
Hearing from Josh Frydenberg’s camp that they think he’s lost Kooyong #auspol
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) May 21, 2022
"But while votes are still being counted, I wanted to take this opportunity to be here with Amy to say a few thank you's. Thank you to the people of Kooyong. Thank you to the people of Australia. Thank you to my party and to my colleagues. But most importantly, thank you to my family.
"To the people of Australia, I say thank you. Thank you for giving me the privilege to be your treasurer."
"In what looks to have been my last press as treasurer ... we saw an unemployment rate at 3.9 per cent - the lowest in nearly 50 years."
Liberals lose Brisbane seat to the Greens
9.50pm: In one of the more remarkable change of seats tonight, the Greens have picked up the Brisbane seat of Ryan from the Liberal Party.
With Labor on the cusp of forming government, we're on track for a colourful parliament.
Teal wave washes over the government
9.40pm: Scott Morrison's gamble to disregard former blue-ribbon seats in wealthy inner city suburbs has not panned out well with the 'teal' (Liberal blue mixed with green) independents rising up.
Goldstein in Victoria has gone teal, as has North Sydney with Trent Zimmerman losing out. Mackellar in Sydney will go to independent Sophie Scamps, knocking over Jason Falinski.
Dave Sharma in Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull's former seat, is set to lose his seat to teal independent Allegra Spender.
Kooyong has not been called by treasurer Josh Frydenberg looks in serious trouble against teal independent Monique Ryan.
— Lizzie Pearl (@lizziepearl) May 21, 2022
The reaction at the Goldstein teal campaign party as Anthony Green announces they are now sitting on 55.8%. One supporter yells: “I can’t believe it - all those hours we worked. We are awesome.” pic.twitter.com/w50OSWhBUQ
— Cait Kelly (@cait__kelly) May 21, 2022
Labor to 'form next government of Australia': ABC
9:30pm: With 71 seats in the bag, the ABC is projecting that the Labor Party has defeated Scott Morrison's Coalition government "and will form the next government of Australia".
'Bloodbath': Government looking at 'next-level disaster' in Victoria
9.10pm: The government is having a disastrous outing in the southern state.
Labor has claimed the seat of Chisholm from Gladys Liu, while it is also on track to pick up Higgins, which would see Katie Allen turfed out. The Liberal-held seat of Deakin is also a very tight race.
Meanwhile Liberal junior minister Tim Wilson will lose his seat of Goldstein to former ABC journalist and independent Zoe Daniel.
In Kooyong, treasurer Josh Frydenberg is also in trouble with independent Monique Ryan currently ahead 53-47, according to the ABC's count.
One Liberal staffer has described it as a "next-level disaster" for the party in the state.
Over on Channel Nine, political editor Chris Uhlmann was even more colourful.
"This is the theme of the night. Victoria is going to be a bloodbath for the Liberals, they'll lose to the teals and to Labor,"he said.
Coalition set to lose majority
8.45pm: The Coalition's tenuous majority government looks all but gone.
On the current trend, "I can't get the Coalition to 70 [seats]," Antony Green told ABC viewers. A party needs 76 seats to govern in its own right.
"I can't see the Coalition getting to majority government on these numbers".
Postal votes that come in later could change the trend, but the writing appears to be on the wall for the Morrison government.
"The Coalition won't be able to form a majority government by all projections that are coming in now," ABC's Laura Tingle said.
Labor set to flip crucial seats
8.35pm: While it looks set to lose Gilmore in NSW and Kristina Keneally is in big trouble in Fowler in Western Sydney, Labor is tipped to claim the South Australian seat of Boothby. It the first time it has claimed the seat since 1949.
It has also projected to take out the Sydney seat of Reid, winning it from the LNP. And it has other metro seats in its sights.
Here is a breakdown of where early marginal seats are going:
Julie Bishop on the message from voters
8.20pm: With the Greens making noise in inner city seats held by the Liberal Party, the former Foreign Minister has shared her thoughts on what message voters are sending her party.
"The consistent message from the Australian community is they want more environmental action. They want something done on climate change," she said on Channel Nine's election broadcast.
Peter Dutton in trouble
8.15pm: The Defence Minister is looking to be in a spot of bother in his Queensland seat of Dickson.
The ABC is currently projecting a very tight race with 30 per cent of the vote counted. Labor's Ali France had an initial lead before Mr Dutton clawed back the gap.
Labor's odds start to blow out, hung parliament firms
8pm: Labor has moved from $1.30 to $1.60 as a hung parliament looks like more and more of a possibility.
One thing that looks certain: the polls were off.
"It does not look like the opinion polls today. It is hard to work out exactly what it is looking like at the moment because there's not one swing going on from seat to seat," the ABC's Antony Green said.
"The best figure we can see at the moment is a prediction from the numbers is a hung parliament. There is no clear trend.
"It is even difficult to work out which party will end up with more seats, but at the moment what I would say is the figures we are seeing are not this morning's opinion poll.
"This is the second election in a row I've done this," he said referring to the polling errors.
"I'm seeing a hung parliament," Mr Green said.
"The numbers at the moment, Labor may end up with more seats, that's one thing I would say."
He confirmed it will be a "long night".
ABC's Chief Elections Analyst @AntonyGreenElec: "This is the second election in a row I've done this but it is this time of night, it's not clear but this is producing at the best, at the moment, I'm seeing a hung parliament" #auspol
— Stephanie Dalzell (@steph_dalzell) May 21, 2022
Antony Green mentions a “hung parliament” (he hasn’t called it)
The media have brilliantly muddied the waters. Again!!
What a disgrace.
— Kane Miller (@kano778) May 21, 2022
Warringah called for independent Zali Steggall
7.40pm: Zali Steggall, who took the inner Sydney seat from former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2019 has held onto it with the ABC already calling it for her.
She easily dispatched controversial candidate Katherine Deves who garnered criticism for her anti-trans views.
Some pundits believed Scott Morrison was using Ms Deves to appeal to more conservative and religious voters in other seats. If you subscribe to that theory, Deves was effectively a sacrificial lamb – and Ms Steggall just plunged the knife in.
ABC viewers fume over 'bloody pinging' noise
7.30pm: ABC viewers have mocked its live election night coverage after one of the panellists kept receiving a barrage of notifications.
Many claimed they thought it was their own phone, as the studio microphone picked up the constant dinging.
Australia Votes panellists Annabel Crabb, Leigh Sales, Simon Birmingham, Andrew Probyn and Tanya Plibersek didn't appear to notice the situation and continued to discuss the election as we count down until the results.
Frustrated by the disruption to the election night coverage, many took to Twitter to alert the ABC to the fail.
"Whose phone is bloody pinging on the ABC set. Effing stop it," one irked viewer wrote.
"Who the f*** is dinging on the ABC election program? Turn your f***ing phone down," another complained.
— Psychotic Mummy (@psychoticmummy) May 21, 2022
Greens see big swing in Griffith and Ryan in Brisbane
7.20pm: Griffith in Brisbane, once held by former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, is seeing a surge in votes for the Greens.
Held by Labor's Terri Butler on a margin of 2.9 per cent, the Greens have been talking about their chances of taking it, and early signs back that up with an initial swing of more than 13 per cent.
Meanwhile in nearby Ryan, the Liberal party vote is down 10 per cent, with a surging early Greens vote.
Minor parties getting early shine
7.15pm: As many predicted, the public's distaste for the two major parties and their leaders is showing up in early vote tallies with less than 2 per cent of the count complete.
The Coalition is down 4.6, with Labor down 2.8. One Nation, UAP and the Greens are the beneficiaries.
With 1.7 of the vote counted nationally, Coalition down 4.6, Labor down 2.8, Greens up 1.6, One Nation up 2.5, UAP up 1.1, Others up 2.1. Messy. And regional areas over-represented here.
— Annabel Crabb (@annabelcrabb) May 21, 2022
Labor vote 'well down' in regional areas in early count
7.10pm: Initial signs for Labor in regional areas aren't exactly great, says ABC's Antony Green.
"We're seeing a lot of regional votes," he said. "We're seeing funny trends like that where the Labor votes are well down in regional areas."
Although preference counts are not yet clear, key seats like Bass in Tasmania look like it could remain with the Liberals, while they are also off to a promising (albeit very early) start in the NSW south coast of Gilmore.
"We want to see more figures," Mr Green said.
Channel Nine mocks Morrison with on-air graphic
6.45pm: A ukulele strumming robot is probably not what you expected to see tonight. But Channel Nine had other ideas, apparently.
The network has unveiled it gimmick for the night - a robot that plays to the tune of April Sun in Cuba by 1970s rock band Dragon, a not so subtle nod to Mr Morrison's controversial effort on 60 Minutes.
It's meant to provide a send off, or a "ticket to Cuba" for the MPs who lose their seat tonight. The network thinks it's pretty good.
"For keen electoral pundits, it's another classic graphic in the all-time history of television coverage," it said.
We'll let you judge.
A look inside an AEC counting station
6.30pm: Workers at a western Sydney polling station are unravelling and tallying pre-poll votes with 9News journalist James Wilson taking people behind the scenes.
About 300 staff are working through 130,000 pre-poll votes, he reported. Democracy in action:
Counting is underway here at the @AusElectoralCom out posted centre in Villawood - 130,000 pre polling votes to get through tonight. 300 staff on deck to make it happen. The electorate of #Fowler is one of the key seats that could be decided here tonight. @9NewsSyd pic.twitter.com/V9WfwNTSZa
— James Wilson (@WesternWilson9) May 21, 2022
Labor can't shake 'collective trauma' despite positive tracking data
6.20pm: ABC journalist Patricia Karvelas, speaking from Labor's election party function, said the ALP's internal data points to them winning majority government tonight.
"But none of them are quite believing it. They are so burnt after the 2019 experience. There is actually a collective trauma," she said.
"Their tracking data shows they are on track for a majority".
But like the rest of us, they are waiting on the count which has just begun.
"If you were believing the polling, you would say we had a good chance," said Labor's Tanya Plibersek on the ABC's election desk.
"But we were very much misled by the polling last time, so I don't think anyone is really accepting what the polls tell us just yet."
What time can we expect a result?
5:30pm: If you're on the beers, you'll want to check in as early as 90 minutes after polls close at 6pm on the east coast.
"What I always say is that by 7.30pm we know what's happening," the ABC's election guru Antony Green says.
"We either know if one side or the other has won, or we know whether we're going to have to wait longer."
He called the last federal election in 2019 at about 9.30pm. If, as polls suggest, it comes down to the wire we might have to wait a little longer for more counting to be done in key seats, including potentially those in Western Australia, in order to project a winner tonight.
Either way, I like to think the national broadcaster's election data cruncher looks something like this right about now:
Premier predicts WA could decide the election
5pm: We could be in for a slightly long night, if WA premier Mark McGowan's prediction proves right.
The state Labor leader says voters in his western state could "very easily" determine the outcome of today's poll.
"If Western Australia does play that role, it will mean we are once again front and centre in national consideration," Mr McGowan told reporters after voting at Safety Bay Primary School in Perth.
Labor has campaigned heavily in WA, with leader Anthony Albanese making four visits to the state since the hard border opened in March, and the ALP held its formal campaign launch in Perth for the first time since 1940.
On Friday, Scott Morrison spent his last full day of campaigning in Perth, a sign Liberal Party strategists also believe the state could be crucial in determining the outcome.
- with AAP
Candidate's bodyguard filmed in ugly altercation
4pm: The apparent bodyguard of controversial candidate Katherine Deves has been filmed confronting poll workers of her opponent.
Ms Deves courted media attention after multiple anti-trans remarks came to light, prompting calls from some in the Liberal Party to disendorse their candidate.
Workers for independent Zali Steggall in the Sydney seat of Warringah can be seen asking the bodyguard to step back as he pushes his chest into them in the very brief clip.
The footage was taken at Seaforth Public school today, a voter who posted it online told Yahoo News Australia. It was passed on to him by a friend and it is unclear what prompted the aggressive altercation.
— Darren Cotterill (@dcotterill) May 21, 2022
Last call to register for phone voting
3.30pm: If you've tested positive for Covid, you can still register for phone voting until 4pm.
The AEC is alerting people, telling those in central and western time zones that any registration that occurs after 4pm eastern time must happen over the phone on 1800 413 960.
Dutton labelled 'pathetic' over boat scare tactic
3.20pm: Defence Minister Peter Dutton issued a statement on Saturday afternoon, alerting voters to a recent "illegal maritime venture intercepted" from Sri Lanka earlier this week.
"People smugglers have obviously decided who is going to win the election and the boats have already started," Mr Dutton tweeted.
Guardian journalist Greg Jericho was among the many critics online, slamming the government for the rather transparent scare campaign.
"Pathetic to the very end," he tweeted in response to Mr Dutton's post.
"They play dirty when they're losing, don't they?" tweeted ANU political historian Frank Bongiorno.
Veteran journalist Karen Middleton says she was tipped off this would happed, with the informant reportedly describing it as an "election stunt".
PM's 11th hour boat turn back texts
3pm: Australian border authorities have revealed on election day that an asylum seeker boat was turned back earlier in the week.
Mr Morrison, who once refused to answer questions about what he famously called "on water matters", confirmed the interception after casting his vote in Sydney earlier today.
Mr Morrison seized on the news as a chance to spruik his government's border policies.
"I've been here to stop this boat but in order for me to be there to stop those that may come from here, you need to vote Liberal and Nationals today," he said.
The Liberal Party has also sent out text messages in an apparent last-minute scare campaign on border security.
It echoes a similar tactic used by Labor in 2016 when the party sent text messages on election day falsely telling voters the Coalition planned to privatise Medicare.
— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) May 21, 2022
Appears PM, Dutton etc discussing matter is not the entire strategy. Election day texts, too. pic.twitter.com/RYqpQKoHlo
— Rohan Smith (@Ro_Smith) May 21, 2022
Ominous signs in betting markets for Morrison
1.45pm: The betting markets are picking Labor to storm home, with a late plunge on the ALP to form a majority government in the 47th Australian parliament.
Labor has shortened from around $1.50 at the start of the day to $1.30 by the early afternoon.
Betting update. Huge plunge Labor. $1.51 into $1.34.
— Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) May 21, 2022
On SportsBet, Labor is currently paying just $1.30 to take the House of Representatives.
While that's an ominous sign for the government, let's not forget the Coalition were at longer odds in 2019, when SportsBet prematurely paid out on a Labor win, costing them millions when Morrison pulled off the "miracle" win.
Complaint sees dodgy signs ordered down
1.30pm: The Federal Court has ordered the removal of campaign posters designed to imitate Greens signage and telling voters to "put Labor last".
The bright green signs have been put up in the Melbourne seat of Higgins, where Liberal MP Katie Allen is facing a tight contest to retain her seat, and have also been spotted in McEwen and Hawke.
Labor went to court on Saturday morning to apply for a court order to remove the signs, arguing they are a bid to confuse voters and conflate the party with the Australian Greens.
The signs read "For our future put Labor last," and were apparently authorised by Hendrick Fourey, of the Business Owners and Contractors Union.
Labor claims they were erected by Liberal supporters and says they are located next to banks of Liberal signage.
The Greens urged their supporters not to "fall for the Liberal's dirty tricks".
- with AAP
LIES BUSTED: the Libs are trying to put up fake signs in Higgins. Already reported to AEC & police.
Don’t fall for the Libs’ desperate tricks. Our How to Votes say Vote 1 Greens & preference climate indies & Labor ahead of Libs.
Our actual how to vote: https://t.co/yCGfVFfSG6 pic.twitter.com/NXTHuR9Ti2
— Australian Greens (@Greens) May 20, 2022
Reuters comes through with classic Aussie election snap
1.15pm: Where would we be without a classic snap of a voter exercising their democratic right in their budgie smugglers?
Well, thankfully international news agency Reuters has delivered the goods.
Please enjoy local voter Jim Finn, holding his daughter Allegra, as he casts his vote at Bondi Beach.
Leaders have awkward encounter on the tarmac
1pm: As the leaders cast their vote and quickly ran around the country in a final push to sway the public, the two men vying for Australia's top job had a surprise run-in.
Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese managed to avoid each other the whole campaign, with the exception of the leaders' debates. But a midday a photo posted on Twitter showed Mr Morrison disembarking from a plane parked right next to Mr Albanese's after arriving in Sydney.
ABC political reporter Matthew Doran shared the photo of the two RAAF planes parked together on the tarmac.
"Mr Albanese having already disembarked, Mr Morrison in the foreground," he wrote.
As both the Coalition and Labor teams arrive in Sydney on polling day, the two RAAF planes which have carried Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese are parked together on the tarmac - Mr Albanese having already disembarked, Mr Morrison in the foreground @politicsabc #ausvotes pic.twitter.com/LmgpGtTzwS
— Matthew Doran (@MattDoran91) May 21, 2022
It came after the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader took thinly-veiled swipes at each other while appearing on Weekend Sunrise this morning.
Mr Albanese spoke about being ready for the top job.
"I'm totally up for this job and what I will do if I get the job is actually do it and not blame someone else and not say, 'That's not my job', when confronted with challenges," he said.
He added he wanted to work to bring the country together and said he wanted to look for a common purpose while the Coalition was "always looking for division".
"During this campaign Scott Morrison has said he is a bulldozer. They wreck things and knock things over. I'm a builder, I want to build things and one of those things is more consensus in this country. People have conflict fatigue," he said.
Meanwhile Mr Morrison hit out at Mr Albanese, calling him an "armchair critic".
Albanese makes final pitch: 'I want to unite'
12pm: Albanese cast his vote in his home seat of Grayndler but joked it was a secret who he'd voted for.
"I want to represent all Australians. I want to unite the country," Mr Albanese said.
He said Labor was kicking with the wind at its back.
"I'm positive and hopeful about a good outcome tonight," he said.
The opposition leader says he's aiming to form a majority government - which means a minimum target of 76, as low as the coalition's grasp on Parliament House during its term.
Mr Albanese says people want a change of government, as well as action on climate change, secure work and the reinvigoration of local manufacturing.
Labor starts with 68 seats, plus notionally the new Victorian seat of Hawke.
Scott Morrison's Liberal-National government came to the election holding 75 seats, having lost Stirling in WA in a redistribution.
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