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PM-elect Albanese wants to ‘change the way politics works’ – as it happened

Anthony Albanese and Jodie Haydon
Prime minister-elect Anthony Albanese and his partner, Jodie Haydon, leave his house in Marrickville on Sunday. Deputy leader Richard Marles says the party is hopeful of achieving a majority. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP

The day that was, Sunday 22 May

That’s where we will leave the live blog for Sunday.

We will have more election wash-up for you on Monday, as Anthony Albanese is sworn in as prime minister, and his core team is also sworn in as he gets ready to head off to the Quad meeting.

Here’s where things currently stand:

  • Labor has not quite reached a majority of seats in its own right but is edging closer to the target.
  • Senior Liberal Simon Birmingham has delivered a scathing review of where his party went wrong in the election, stating the delay for legalising same-sex marriage and the national energy guarantee were the starting points.
  • Outgoing treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has not yet conceded in Kooyong, stating it is still mathematically possible on postal votes.
  • Outgoing prime minister, Scott Morrison, has tearfully addressed the Horizon church in his electorate on his last day in the top job.
  • Leading right figures within the Liberal and National parties have claimed the Coalition was too moderate in policies.
  • Labor MP for Griffith, Terri Butler, conceded defeat to the Greens’ Max Chandler-Mather in Griffith.
  • Liberal MP for Goldstein, Tim Wilson, conceded defeat to independent Zoe Daniel.
  • Outgoing Indigenous affairs minister, Ken Wyatt, conceded defeat to Labor’s Tania Lawrence in Hasluck.
  • Former Labor senator Kristina Keneally conceded defeat to independent Dai Le in the seat of Fowler.

Good night, and stay safe.


Independent Dai Le, who is going to be the new member for Fowler, is on Sky News.

She says her roots are planted in the community: “I grew up, I live there, I work there.”

She says she was told that beating Labor would be “Mt Everest” but “I really wanted to fight for my community”.

“I didn’t think I could take a big giant [Labor and Kristina Keneally] down.”

She says voters were “insulted”, and couldn’t bring themselves to vote Labor despite being lifelong Labor voters, after Keneally was parachuted into the seat.

She also paid tribute to the Vietnamese community who turned out to support her during the campaign.

“It’s a grassroots movement ... that has got us to where we have got today.”

She says she has yet to hear from Keneally, despite Keneally tweeting out her concession.


The slackening authority of our most prominent sources of political news and analysis has been further weakened by the results of this federal election.

Few election campaigns have seen the performance of news outlets so intensely monitored, and perhaps no other election outcome has exposed such a gaping disconnect between a major news supplier and voters.

Nine News is reporting the soon-to-be-former prime minister Scott Morrison hosted a party at Kirribilli House tonight for friends and staff, including the PM cracking the whip, literally.

Kristina Keneally concedes Fowler

Former Labor senator Kristina Keneally has conceded she will not be successful in being elected to the Sydney seat of Fowler. Keneally will lose to independent candidate Dai Le after the Labor party was criticised for parachuting Keneally into the electorate over the local favourite Tu Le.

Keneally’s failure to win means incoming prime minister Anthony Albanese will need to find a new minister for home affairs.

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken has released the following statement congratulating the incoming Labor government:

On behalf of the United States, I congratulate Prime Minister-Elect Anthony Albanese on his victory in the May 21 Australian federal election.

Australia is a vital ally, partner, and friend of the United States. For more than seven decades, our alliance has been a force for good in the world, and we look forward to the next 70 years. Together, the United States and Australia will continue to work shoulder-to-shoulder to advance security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe.

Briefings for the incoming government are under way.


Ken Wyatt concedes

Liberal MP and Indigenous affairs minister Ken Wyatt has conceded he has lost his seat.

He said:

I just want to say thank you to the people for giving me 12 incredible years serving in the House of Representatives. Not only looking after their interests and needs but being in a position to influence the national agenda as an Indigenous person, it has been a great privilege. It has been a mixture of emotions from the first day I walked in to Parliament House through those great doors, to when I walked out from the last sitting, and I have no regrets.

He said there are now between seven and nine Indigenous members of parliament.

And that is a shift in Australian history and I have been a part of that. A great experience.

Ken Wyatt the Liberal Candidate for Hasluck is seen on May 18, 2022 in Mundaring, Australia.
Ken Wyatt: ‘I have no regrets.’ Photograph: Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

He said he was not disappointed to lose, and told his supporters not to shed tears:

I want you to think about the incredible 12 years that you have helped me achieve being in the House of Representatives and being a member of the Australian parliament. That is what I want you to remember. Now this chapter closes and a new one will open.


Cash denies that Scott Morrison’s “cave dwellers” comment about Western Australians staying locked out of the rest of the country had an impact on the vote. She says people were still keen to support the state premier Mark McGowan:

That was not what he was saying at the time. [He] was saying there was a light at the end of the tunnel, but putting all of that aside, last night the vote was clear. Western Australians very much supported the approach of Mark McGowan. That is what they did yesterday, in fact they had a number of people on polling booths who would come up to me and say I am voting for Mark McGowan. When you’ve got people approaching you on polling booths and genuinely saying, they weren’t trying to be smart, I’d like to vote for Mark McGowan, that just shows you that in Western Australia there is still that overwhelming support for Mr McGowan as premier.

She says the very anti-Clive Palmer campaign impacted the Liberal vote in WA, also.

Cash declined to comment on who should lead the Liberal party next. She says her focus is on supporting those Liberal MPs who lost their seats.

Cash says the Australia the Liberal government is handing over is in “good shape”:

So in terms of the Australia that we hand over to Mr Albanese and the incoming Labor government, I am very, very proud of the decisions that we made. We hand over an Australia that is in good shape, that is the envy of so many other parts of the world, but ultimately, last night, democracy was in action and the choice of the Australian people was made and it was a choice that has elected an incoming Albanese Labor government.

Cash said that the federal government initially attempting to intervene with Clive Palmer’s challenge to the WA hard borders had an impact on the vote last night.

Even though we reversed it, meant that the Labor party was able to run an effective campaign against us, a very strong campaign, highlighting this decision, even though we reversed it and yet it certainly did have an impact on the vote last night.

When asked about Curtin, she says it is a “very, very tight race” with the postals still being counted.

She says there is a “structural change” in electorates in Australia, with outer suburban Labor heartland now being “aspirational voters”. Worth noting as of right now Liberals have not taken a single seat from Labor this election.


WA Liberal party rebuilding process has started, Michaelia Cash says

Western Australian senator Michaelia Cash says the election results in WA could have been much worse for the Liberal party, given the state election result in 2021:

In relation to Western Australia, I look at what happened to the Western Australian Liberal party last year at the state election. We were reduced to but two seats in the legislative assembly. Our primary vote was around 21%. There was a lot of rebuilding that we needed to do. While we had a huge swing here in Western Australia and we have lost at least four seats, we have at least commenced the rebuilding process and when I’ll look at where our primary vote landed last night and there is still a lot of counting to go in relation to postal votes, we have at least got it to around 35% so the rebuilding process has well and truly started in the Western Australian Liberal party.

Attorney-General of Australia Michaelia Cash
Attorney general of Australia Michaelia Cash. Photograph: Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images


Penny Wong, who will be joining Anthony Albanese in Tokyo for the Quad meeting on Tuesday, says Australia must “step up and be a credible partner of choice” with south-east Asian nations.

The Quad grouping – which has been elevated to leader-level talks in recent years - brings together Australia, the US, Japan and India. It is viewed warily by China, which sees it as an effort to contain its influence.

The Quad agenda is expected to include international peace and security, including the situation in Ukraine, stability in the Indo-Pacific, the resilience of Pacific Island countries, North Korea, Myanmar and Afghanistan - as well as the critical importance of multilateralism including the UN. Other agenda items include global health security, cooperation on infrastructure in the region, and climate change.

Penny Wong introduces prime minister elect Anthony Albanese at the election night function at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL club.
Penny Wong introduces prime minister elect Anthony Albanese at the election night function at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL club. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Wong, the foreign minister-designate, says travelling to the Quad meeting in the government’s first week in office “signifies how important we believe this partnership is for our security”.

In a statement issued a short time ago, she says:

We will be taking new energy and much more to the table - including our commitment to act on climate change after a lost decade.

Our Quad partners are counting on us to play our part to help make our region more stable, prosperous and secure.

That’s why we will be taking our election commitment of a major new package on Southeast Asia to the Quad, along with our commitments on the Pacific.

Labor’s policy includes the appointment of a Southeast Asia Special Envoy – a high-level roving ambassador to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and member states to develop stronger relationships in capitals, identify areas of mutual interest and cut through bureaucratic blockages to deliver more cooperation and assistance.The party also promised a $470m increase in foreign aid to southeast Asia over four years and develop an Asean economic strategy. It also plans to set up an Office for Southeast Asia in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - to be modelled on Office of the Pacific.

Wong says in her statement:

We have always understood the importance of Southeast Asia. We know that while we are all very different, our countries face many shared challenges. We all need to work together to address the reshaping of the regional order, pandemic recovery - and as President Widodo [of Indonesia] said directly to our Parliament, climate change.

We need to step up and be a credible partner of choice, drawing on all elements of our national power.

And we need to work with key partners US, India and Japan to multiply our efforts to build a stable and prosperous region, where sovereignty is respected and the rules of the road are upheld.


You may have noticed the Legalise Cannabis Australia party is doing quite well in the Senate. At the moment even better than the United Australia party, which spent over $100m on advertising this election.

Here’s a few reasons why that might be:


In other news, it is going to be quite cold in Victoria tonight.

South Australian Liberal senator Alex Antic said the Coalition must not adopt a more ambitious climate policy, claiming that would only backfire.

“In many cases people we’re trying to appease the climate crowd – look what happens,” Antic told Sky News on Sunday morning. “You throw the left and the climate crowd a bone and then they just use it to crack you on the head with later on.”

Echoing Donald Trump, Antic said the Liberal party had become an “elite club”, adding:

The other thing I want to see from the party is a drift away from the political swamp. We have too many political staffers who become politicians in this party.

Asked by Sky News host Rita Panahi how the party machinery could stand up against a narrative that it must move to a small-L liberal approach to become electable, Antic said: “The first thing is to switch the fake news antennae off.”

Antic appealed to his party colleagues to “push back on these globalist forces that are coming through and climate change is one of them”.

“We’ve got to drown out the Guardians, the ABCs – we didn’t do it when we were in power, we’re going to have to do it when we’re in opposition,” he said.

“Much of the blame for the teal revolution in this country lays firmly in the lap of conservatives of the last two decades not shooting down this nonsense about climate change, allowing school children to go to sleep upset because they think the world is coming to an end. That has given rope to these teal candidates ... It’s like the parent that says to the child you can’t eat chocolate all day every day and they kick and scream and wail – well, sometimes you’ve got to be a tough parent you’ve got to tell it like it is.”


Incoming member for Goldstein, independent Zoe Daniel, acknowledges Tim Wilson’s concession.

The peak industry body for the Australian oil and gas industry has congratulated Anthony Albanese on his election win saying it “looks forward to working with any new government”.

The acting chief executive for the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), Damian Dwyer, said in a statement that the “industry has a track record of working constructively with all governments”:

We urge any new administration to continue to recognise the critical role of gas in the future decarbonised energy mix and the development of our region, as well as focusing policy efforts on improving the competitiveness of the nation’s investment environment.

We are committed to economy-wide net zero by 2050 and APPEA members are already spending billions of dollars on decarbonisation tools such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen-related technologies.

Last week the chief of Santos and former APPEA chair, Kevin Gallagher, told an industry conference that he wasn’t worried about the outcome of the election as “energy security is going to be important, no matter who’s in power”.

“My request is that there be no big kneejerk factors, that there’s no big Biden-type policy announcement on day one, in closing things down, because I think that’d be very disruptive,” he said.

Last year the International Energy Agency said limiting global heating to 1.5C, a goal set out in the Paris agreement, meant exploration and exploitation of new fossil fuel basins had to stop in 2021.

There are currently 12,200km of new gas pipelines proposed for Australia, worth $25.8b, that are a risk of becoming stranded assets as the world moves away from fossil fuels.


Wilson indicates he wants to write a book.

He says it is a “deeply unsettling” time for the country, and the election has been a reset. But he says it is too early to draw conclusions from the outcome of the election this early.

Wilson ends the press conference by saying he always made decisions he felt were in the national interest because that’s the job of a federal parliament. He said he recognised that might not always be popular in the local electorate.


Wilson says he is “immensely proud” of everything he achieved in parliament and no one can take it away from him. He says he didn’t think it was an issue with him personally that cost him the seat, stating the issues in his electorate were issues faced in other electorates like Higgins.

Liberal candidate Tim Wilson is seen outside an Australian Electoral Commission early voting centre in the Federal electorate of Goldstein in Melbourne,
Liberal candidate Tim Wilson has conceded. Photograph: Luis Ascui/AAP


Wilson lists his opposition to the ratification of an extradition treaty with China, and then the work around the postal survey on same-sex marriage (which Simon Birmingham named as the beginning of the troubles for the Liberals).

He also mentions his time as an assistant minister on emissions reduction.

He gets emotional when he says thank you to his husband, Ryan Bolger, who is standing beside him.

You’ve sacrificed so much for my service I want to say thank you.


Tim Wilson concedes in Goldstein

Liberal MP Tim Wilson has formally conceded Goldstein to independent candidate Zoe Daniel.

He has thanked the voters of Goldstein and his staff.


My colleague Daniel Hurst has all you need to know on the next steps for the incoming Albanese Labor government.

Corflute vandalism (or more accurately, candidates complaining about it) was somewhat prominent this campaign. Looks like it’s still going.

The South Australian premier, Peter Malinauskas, is holding a press conference on the federal election result.

He says SA Labor’s showing has been very strong, and mentions Labor picking up the former Liberal seat of Boothby.

He says winning it is “a bit deal” and the fact that winning Sturt is still being talked about is “somewhat astonishing.”

Malinauskas says he looks forward to working collaboratively with an Albanese federal Labor government, and he will make sure they deliver for South Australians.


The prime minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare, has congratulated Anthony Albanese on his election victory.

Sogavare, who has written a letter to Albanese, also assured him “that Solomon Islands remains Australia’s steadfast friend and development partner of choice”.

China’s security deal with Solomon Islands, signed during the early stages of the election campaign, was a major point of conflict between the two main political parties. Labor had accused the Coalition of presiding over the worst foreign policy failure in the Pacific since the second world war. Labor also pledged to increase foreign aid, take the climate crisis seriously, and step up maritime assistance to the region. In a statement issued today, Sogavare said Albanese’s election victory “signifies that the people of Australia embraced Mr Albanese’s vision, policy frameworks and the direction he espoused for Australia and more broadly in relation to Australia’s neighbours in the region and internationally”.

I write on behalf of my government and the people of Solomon Islands to convey to you, your government and the people of Australia my sincere congratulations on your election victory as the 31st prime minister of Australia to lead Australia into the future.

Sogavare said his country remembered “with gratitude and acknowledge with appreciation Australia’s tremendous assistance to Solomon Islands over the years, in particular, during the period of our ethnic unrest when your government and your country together with members of the Pacific Islands Forum assisted us to get back on our feet”.

He also acknowledged Australia’s support to respect to unrest in November 2021 and Covid-related assistance earlier this year:

My government and people are forever grateful to you, the government and people of Australia for the generous support, financially and in-kind during and after these testing times. Much however, remains to be done.

Sogavare concluded by wishing Albanese and his incoming government “all the best as he leads Australia to new heights”. Sogavare “further assured him of taking Solomon Islands’ relationship with Australia to another level under Albanese’s tenure as the prime minister of Australia”.


That’s all from me, folks! I foresee a nanna nap in my immediate future. There’s still plenty to unfold in election news, Josh Taylor is here to guide you through it.

Dutton front-runner to replace Morrison as other leadership contenders emerge

With outgoing treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, on track to lose his seat of Kooyong, the presumptive front-runner for the Liberal leadership is outgoing defence minister, Peter Dutton.

Dutton only narrowly lost the leadership ballot to replace Malcolm Turnbull in 2018 to Scott Morrison, 45 votes to 40. The moderate wing of the party, which swung the leadership to Morrison, have suffered the greatest losses, putting Dutton, a conservative, in the box seat.

Depending on final results, MPs and senators from Dutton’s home seat of Queensland could make up nearly one quarter of the party room.

But the party is still casting around for other options. Guardian Australia has confirmed there are efforts to recruit outgoing trade, tourism and investment minister, Dan Tehan, to run, and outgoing home affairs minister, Karen Andrews, is reportedly in a similar position. On Sunday Andrews did not rule out running for the leadership.

She told a doorstop in the Gold Coast:

It is way too early to even have a discussion about leadership within the Liberal National party. At this stage the counting of votes is still continuing, [until] we have an indication about who will be elected as members of the House of Representatives and Senate, it is way too early for there to be a conversation about that.

At some point, the Liberal party room will meet and we will elect a new leader but that is not a discussion for today. I am not going to engage in the discussion at all, within 24 hours of a devastating loss for the Liberal and National party.

Tehan said running for the leadership was the “last thing on my mind” but also didn’t rule it out.

He told Sky News:

What we’ve got to do is make sure we are looking after those who have lost their seats, make sure we are scrutinising every last vote that comes in. At this stage what we need to be doing is making sure we regroup and come together ... we’ve got to wait and see what happens … there’s still a lot of votes to be counted, it’s far too premature to be having those discussions, we’re 12 hours after election day.


Here’s the video of Scott Morrison speaking at Horizon church this morning:


Meanwhile, in Christopher Pyne’s old seat:

Dr Monique Ryan said earlier the AEC hasn’t declared the seat of Kooyong, and Josh Frydenberg hasn’t called her yet. But she said:

I feel like we have succeeded and I will be the next member for Kooyong.

She noted that the Liberal party tends not to put women in safe seats, and said:

There is a momentum for change in the Australian political system. People like myself, who aren’t career politicians, have a lot to offer. I’ve got a lifetime of lived experience in the acute care health system and the other independents, as well as mature people who have done well in other walks of life and we have got a lot to bring to parliament.

She also said quotas have been effective in other industries, and that the Liberal party has a problem with its female representation.

Labor's Terri Butler concedes in Griffith

Labor MP Terri Butler concedes in Griffith – she’s lost to Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather:


The ALP national president (and former treasurer), Wayne Swan, calls the election result a “victory for decency and Labor values”:


The ABC’s election coverage has easily won the ratings, with an average of 910,000 viewers in five metro cities tuning in to the panel led by Leigh Sales and election analyst Antony Green.

The Seven Network’s coverage was second on Saturday night with an average of 373,000 viewers watching political editor, Mark Riley, and his so-called Screen of Dreams predict the number of seats for each party.

Seven claimed on Sunday that Riley, who co-hosted with Natalie Barr and Michael Usher, “beat the pack to declare a Labor majority government and Anthony Albanese as Australia’s new prime minister” – but didn’t give a time for the claim.

Channel Nine’s offering hosted by Peter Overton, Alicia Loxley and with analysis from political editor, Chris Uhlmann, was in third spot with 384,000. Ten’s election coverage, hosted by Sandra Sully, Peter van Onselen, Waleed Aly and Hugh Riminton, did not make the top 20.

On subscription TV, Sky News Australia’s election coverage was the 10th most popular program of the night, beaten by NRL and AFL matches on Foxtel to average 125,000 viewers.


Nick Evershed, the legend behind Guardian Australia’s live votes tracker, has made the following calls:

  • Werriwa – ALP
  • Parramatta – ALP
  • Fowler – IND
  • North Sydney – IND
  • Tangney – ALP

See all the details of the margins and the candidates here:


Josh Butler has some more details from Scott Morrison’s church visit this morning, including this line from a Bible verse he read:

Do not rejoice over me, enemy of mine. Though I fall, I will rise. Though I live in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.

Recriminations are continuing in the Liberal party, particularly over the shock loss of heartland blue-ribbon seats.

One Liberal told Guardian Australia:

The Liberal party is designed to be a broad church. The moderate wing was too easily bulldozed, and there wasn’t enough resistance in the cabinet in particular. Morrisonism has got to be put to death. Morrisonism is economic populism and culture wars – that was poison for us in the city. We’ve got to return to economic rationalism and social liberalism.

Criticism is not just limited to Scott Morrison for indulging in culture war issues, but also senior moderates like Marise Payne for not putting a stop to it.

The MP said:

We haven’t had enough economic policies, and things in the non social side. We indulged too many crazy things.

[Warringah candidate Katherine] Deves was emblematic of everything that is wrong with Morrison on these sorts of issues. They made a huge mistake thinking that the party membership base is the voting base. The voting base of the party is much broader, and they voted against this [transphobic] shit yesterday in Warringah.

The Liberal source noted that, for all the talk that Deves would help win middle-ring and outer suburban seats, “we didn’t win any of those seats”, not even Parramatta where Maria Kovacic, a strong candidate, faced off against Labor’s Andrew Charlton who ran a “shambolic campaign”. The MP said:

We won Hughes, where Jenny Ware spoke out against Katherine Deves. The whole thing’s a joke.


Eminent former Pacific leaders have issued their congratulations to Anthony Albanese and urged him to “make a radical shift towards strong and urgent climate action”, including a commitment to no new coal and gas projects.

Anote Tong, the former president of Kiribati and a leading climate campaigner, said:

It is no secret that I have been disappointed with the attitudes of the previous Australian government towards the Pacific on a number of fronts, including climate change.

My hope is that we will see stronger and more urgent climate action from the incoming government, including a more ambitious emissions reduction target, ramped-up support for climate-vulnerable communities in the Pacific and most importantly, a commitment to no new coal and gas projects in Australia.

Tong said that while he welcomed Albanese’s proposal to host a COP summit in conjunction with Pacific island nations, “this cannot be used to greenwash Australia’s inadequate climate policies”.

Enele Sopoaga, the former prime minister of Tuvalu, who clashed strongly with Scott Morrison at the last in-person Pacific Islands Forum in 2019, said he welcomed the incoming government:

Time is running out on climate change not only for small island developing states like us in the Pacific, but also for Australia and the rest of the world. Our security, together with our survival, is at peril.

I can only hope that this new Australian government will make a radical shift towards strong and urgent climate action and genuine support for the Pacific. This would include radical new Australian targets for emissions reduction under the Paris Agreement, no new coal or gas, and an ongoing commitment to supporting Pacific island nations as we face the brunt of climate impacts.

The urgent concern over Australia’s climate policies echoes the congratulatory message from Fiji’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, who tweeted to Albanese:

Of your many promises to support the Pacific, none is more welcome than your plan to put the climate first – our people’s shared future depends on it.

Bainimarama also issued an invitation to the incoming prime minister to visit Fiji. Fiji is set to host the Pacific Islands Forum in the coming months and Albanese has indicated he plans to attend the summit, which is the most significant regional diplomatic meeting.

The Pacific featured heavily in the election campaign after the Australian government was caught off guard by Solomon Islands signing a security deal with China, which raised concerns about China establishing a military base in the islands. Labor accused the government of dropping the ball in the Pacific and opening the door for increased Chinese influence.


The Tamil family fighting for years to return to the Queensland town of Biloela are confident they will be allowed to go home under the new Labor government, AAP reports:

Labor promised during the election campaign the Murugappan family – Priya, Nades and their two girls Kopika and Tharnicaa – would be able to return to their beloved town if the party won. Family friend and longtime campaigner, Angela Fredericks, says she called them on Saturday evening to tell them the news of Anthony Albanese’s victory. She said:

Many happy tears were shed.

We now believe that this long, painful saga can finally come to an end. This family has been away from their home for more than four years. They never should have been taken from the town that loved and needed them.

As they make the long journey to Biloela to resume their lives here, they also commence a journey of recovery and healing.

You can read the long history of the family’s struggle here.


Interesting breakdown from the West Australian’s Annabel Hennessy:

The outgoing superannuation minister, Jane Hume, told Guardian Australia the Liberal party has “a fair bit of unpacking to do” but would first have to “grieve for some of our friends”, as the party had lost some of its “intellectual powerhouses” in Saturday’s result.

She said:

As we’re analysing the drivers of this defeat, we need to ensure all voices are in the room. The Liberal party thrives when all voices are heard. And the country needs a strong Liberal party.

There will be a lot of ideas to ensure we don’t remain in opposition, but it’s too early to start. We don’t want to read the entrails until we’ve gutted the chicken.

Hume said she was “blindsided” by the result, because voters seemed to be responding well to the Liberal party in places like (Labor-held) Dunkley and (independent-held) Indi.

She’s not the only one – many Liberals have commented to Guardian Australia that the mood of the electorate was hard to read, with many voters not engaging and evidently having made their minds up. They walked into booths, not taking how-to-vote cards, heads down, past party volunteers.

Like the record numbers who voted early, they just wanted to get it done.


Paul Karp’s taken a look at some of the MPs who are holding out on a concession:

Adam Bandt: 'This is a greenslide'

“One thing is for sure,” Bandt says, “this is a greenslide”.

Newly elected senator Penny Allman-Payne steps up and says she’s “not surprised” at the result:

We’ve been campaigning for over 12 months, right around the state, and everywhere we’ve gone people have told us they can’t find a house to rent. They can’t afford a home to rent, they can’t afford to buy. People have told us that they can’t get the dental treatment that they need.


The Greens leader, Adam Bandt, is talking now. He says the result in Queensland is a mandate for action on climate and inequality. He says we shouldn’t be giving tax breaks to people like Clive Palmer when people are living in poverty, or can’t afford to get their teeth fixed. He says:

We’ll take the fight up to politicians in Canberra every day [for] action on climate and inequality. The Greens are a big part of the reason we’ve seen a change of government.

He also welcomed the election of independents who have “helped change the political culture in this country for the better”.


Here’s some more from the outgoing prime minister, Scott Morrison, at Horizon church this morning. He thanked people in the church, saying:

It’s very special that you’re here today because you’ve walked this journey with us as well as have many others. Jenny and I, and the girls, are grateful to our church family here. You’ve given us a great foundation from which we could walk ... walk what has been a very difficult walk, I’ve got to tell you, over the last almost four years.

God calls us, whether you’re a prime minister or a pastor or run agribusiness.


National Covid summary

Here are the latest coronavirus numbers from around Australia today, as the country records at least 20 deaths from Covid-19:


  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 758
  • In hospital: 92 (with 4 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 7
  • Cases: 8,523
  • In hospital: 1,165 (with 36 people in ICU)

Northern Territory

  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 183
  • In hospital: 17 (with 2 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 4,504
  • In hospital: 432 (with 17 people in ICU)

South Australia

  • Deaths: 2
  • Cases: 3,053
  • In hospital: 224 (with 8 people in ICU)


  • Deaths: 1
  • Cases: 782
  • In hospital: 47 (with 1 person in ICU)


  • Deaths: 10
  • Cases: 9,307
  • In hospital: 541 (with 29 people in ICU)

Western Australia

  • Deaths: 0
  • Cases: 11,557
  • In hospital: 326 (with 11 people in ICU)

Rogue Liberal senator, Gerard Rennick, has taken aim at Scott Morrison, blaming him for the larger than expected loss, which Liberals had hoped could be confined to the loss of five to 10 seats.

Rennick told Guardian Australia:

I will say Scott Morrison never had a vision, never had conviction. I went and saw him a number of times, every six months. Every sitting week there was a new crisis and the left was controlling the agenda.

He never had a vision, he was just sitting there holding the position but with no clear way forward. What was the pitch - that we were going to provide more of the same?

[Australians] didn’t want 3 more years of the shit-throwing that was going on. The only thing we did were those tax cuts - and even then it was arguable whether giving them to people [earning] over $180,000 was a good thing.

Rennick said the Liberals had been “bogged down in the covid hysteria” and “didn’t fight the fight on climate change”. He said:

We signed up to net zero, and threw shitloads of money at solar and batteries ... We should’ve fought the issue on cost of living again, to argue that it was the most expensive power, like we did last time ...

When asked do we care about the environment, we should say ‘yes’. Do we care about plastic? Yes, I hate plastic, there’s so much plastic shit at Christmas. Biodiversity? Yes - I went and travelled the world to see the gorillas after university. But we can protect the environment without believing in this notion that a rise of CO2 is the end of mankind.

Rennick said he could have supported net zero if it were teamed with nuclear power and more hydro-electric power. He declined to express a view on the leadership, but suggested Peter Dutton was in the box seat.

From Fiji’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama:

Anthony Albanese: 'I want to change the way politics works'

Prime minister-elect Anthony Albanese is talking now, after that morning stop at a cafe. He’s talking about that upcoming trip to Japan for the Quad meeting. He says it was the government’s decision to have the election just days before that critical event, which has led to some haste in getting Albanese sworn in. (Penny Wong, Jim Chalmers, Katy Gallagher and Richard Marles will also be sworn in tomorrow.)

Marles will fill his shoes while he’s gone – he’ll be back on Wednesday and will organise a face-to-face meeting with all the premiers and chief ministers then.

He describes last night as a “really big moment” in his life, and:

What I want it to be is a big moment for the country. I want to change the country, I want to change the way politics works in this country.

Now he’s off for a series of briefings.


SA records two Covid deaths

Two people have died from Covid in South Australia. 224 people are in hospital, eight in intensive care. SA recorded 3,053 new cases:


Oh, Queensland. You’re overdue a break from these floods:

Anthony Albanese got emotional as he talked about committing to the Uluru Statement from the Heart last night:

Canavan blames Liberal moderates for seat losses

The election result will trigger all sorts of bloodletting within the Coalition.

Matt Canavan, the Queensland Nationals senator who has long campaigned against the net zero target, spoke with Guardian Australia a short time ago to give his take on the results.

While there have been big gains for the teal independents and the Greens, which have campaigned for much stronger climate action, Canavan says the election sent a clear message to the Coalition that “when we go left, we lose”.

Canavan contended that the Coalition went to the election with “a leftist agenda” on climate, but that wasn’t a credible platform:

McDonald’s can’t sell health food and the LNP can’t sell socialism.

Canavan pushed back at the idea, advanced by senior moderate Liberals, that the Coalition needed to take a stronger climate action policy to the next election, saying: “What more should we do? Should we adopt a carbon tax, should we double the dole?”

(Quick side note: neither major party has a policy proposal for a carbon tax, and the Coalition temporarily doubled the jobseeker payment in the early stages of the pandemic.)

Canavan, who was pushing for the Nationals to oppose the net zero target last year, said the loss of inner-city seats to the teal independents showed that “the Faustian bargain proved to be a complete failure”, and he blamed the moderates:

The policy agenda we took to the election was signed, sealed and delivered by the moderate wing of the Liberal party … Doubling down seems to be the definition of insanity.

Asked whether the Coalition should strive to win back those inner-city seats at the next election, Canavan said it should try to win as many seats as possible, but the path to victory would be through the regions and the suburbs.

Canavan said the biggest issue for voters was the cost of living but the Coalition “didn’t have a coherent platform” to address that, and it must return to a focus on “kitchen table economics”.

We forgot the forgotten people.

He said the Coalition should focus on winning back votes that it had lost to One Nation and Clive Palmer’s United Australia party.

Asked about Liberal senator Simon Birmingham’s suggestion that the Coalition should now embrace a stronger formal 2030 emissions reduction target, Canavan said:

This is all ridiculous - I mean, what the hell? Who cares?

Canavan questioned whether there was still an appetite for deep 2030 targets in major emitting countries including the US.

By contrast, he said, the National party “had a great night” at the election and he hoped Barnaby Joyce would stay on as leader, citing the need for stability.

The teal independent candidates often mentioned Joyce in their campaigning, saying the self-proclaimed moderate Liberals vote the same in the parliament as the Nationals leader.

But when asked whether Joyce should be seen as responsible for the Liberal party’s losses in inner city seats, Canavan said he was “not going to apologise for delivering results for regional Australians”. He said that was the nature of Coalition governments.

Birmingham told the ABC’s Insiders program earlier today:

I would hope that we can continue to work together, but obviously the National Party need to look at where the Liberal Party has felt this pain and reflect upon how it is that we, together, can manage to form majority government in the future and what will be necessary for us to [achieve that].

When asked about this comment, Canavan said:

I hope the Coalition stays together. With all due respect to the Liberal party, perhaps they could take a leaf out of the National party … maybe the Liberal party could learn something about the need to stay true to values and principles.


No Covid deaths in Western Australia, 11,557 new cases

There have been no new Covid-19 deaths in Western Australia overnight. The state has reported 11,557 new cases, 326 people in hospital and 11 cases in ICU.


Anthony Albanese is in his inner west Sydney neighbourhood of Marrickville this morning and is expected to speak soon.

We’ll bring you the latest as it comes.


Morrison tearfully addresses church

From Horizon church in Sydney (I earlier called it Hillsong, please blame sleep deprivation):


Spender says the same-sex marriage debate, and the targetting of trans kids, was something the community “really feels and hates”. She says:

The failure to move forward on climate in a constructive way that is good for the economy, absolutely, these are reasons why people are saying, we need to change, we need to stand up and have given up hoping they are going to listen to us. We need to make change in terms of our representation.

Spender says of the result:

I certainly hope it shows that you can’t ignore women anymore, and it’s saying in a positive way, that in a very constructive way, we want the parliament to represent our community in its fullest terms. We want the parliament to be the best of us.

She also says she hasn’t heard from outgoing Liberal MP Dave Sharma yet (and Sharma’s Twitter account appears to have been deleted).

New MP for Wentworth, Allegra Spender, is at Bondi. She says the teal independents will give communities a voice in parliament.

You look at the values of this community, we are socially progressive, we are environmentally focused, [these values] were not reflected in the parliament and they were not reflected in the Liberal party.

She says she’ll be “urging” and using all her “negotiation power” to push for more rapid action on climate change (she wants a reduction of at least 50% in emissions by 2030).

“We need to go back to the values of the Liberal party,” Andrews says, “and make sure we are properly representing the Australian people.” She declines to comment on whether the LNP should disband, and says:

The result is still coming in right across Australia, but it’s very clear that at least some of the so-called teal independents have been elected to the House of Representatives, a significant increase in the Greens vote and it appears likely that there will be re-elected and new Green members coming into the House of Representatives.

What’s important is that we need to look at what is happening in the inner city seats who have a groundswell of support for the Greens party and for the teal party, the teal independents. It is important that we look at that very closely and see what the applications are in relation to our policies.

And she declines to comment on whether she’d run for leader, saying it’s “too early” to discuss.


Outgoing home affairs minister, Karen Andrews, is talking about the boats. Not the votes, the boats. She says:

It was very difficult when I heard yesterday that a boat had been intercepted in waters off Christmas Island.

It will be a matter for the incoming minister of home affairs to deal with that, and resolve those issues. Throughout the campaign and leading up to their campaign, there were accusations of scaremongering by the Coalition in relation to safety and security matters in relation to our borders.

Let’s be clear that what we have seen in the last few days is that there have been two boats, headed for Australia.

You can read Paul Karp’s story on the boats here:

Anthony Albanese will shortly make his first public appearance after claiming victory last night. He’ll pop up in his home electorate of Grayndler a little later today, and is expected to give a press conference at some stage, ahead of being sworn in as prime minister tomorrow.

Late last night, following his speech at Labor’s election party, Albanese made what was meant to be a low-key re-entry to the party to mingle with supporters and staff.

It turned into an impromptu media doorstop, as TV cameras followed him around the room and peppered him with questions. Clutching a can of his Albo pale ale, the incoming PM said he was “hopeful it will be a majority Labor government, but we’ll wait and see the results as they roll in over coming days”.

Albanese watched the results roll in on TV at his Marrickville home, surrounded by his partner Jodie, son Nathan, and a small group of staff and supporters. He said:

We didn’t have many people at my place … I cooked dinner for people, pasta.

As he turned away from the media scrum, a British reporter from the BBC squeezed in to ask a few questions. Albanese said Labor were “strong supporters” of the Aukus military pact with the United Kingdom and United States:

The UK of course is an important ally for Australia. I look forward to working with our friends in the UK.

Albanese also noted the action on climate change from British PM Boris Johnson, praising him as “one of the first politicians in the world to raise serious action on climate change”. He said:

It’s far less controversial in the UK, it shouldn’t be controversial here.

Australian business knows that good action on climate change is good for jobs and good for our economy, and I want to join the global effort.


No Covid deaths in Queensland, 4,504 new cases

In Queensland, no Covid deaths were recorded. 432 people are in hospital, 17 in intensive care. The state had 4,504 new cases:


Frydenberg says it was a Labor and Greens strategy to “run dead” in Kooyong so the independent would win.

And that was that.

Federal member for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg in Melbourne today after suffering a swing against him in excess of 10%, with more than half the votes counted in the inner-east Melbourne seat on Saturday night.
Federal member for Kooyong Josh Frydenberg in Melbourne today after suffering a swing against him in excess of 10%, with more than half the votes counted in the inner-east Melbourne seat on Saturday night. Photograph: James Ross/AAP


Frydenberg is asked if the result is “payback” from a populace “cranky” from Covid. He says it has been a difficult time for all Australians, but:

I don’t think you could draw that conclusion from the election result, about being a pandemic result. I think people understand that the federal government pulled out all stops. We pulled out all stops to support people on both the health and the economic front.

Today we have a faster and stronger economic recovery than every major advanced economy in the world. We have a vaccination rate which is in the top 10 of the OECD and we have Covid mortality rate which is the third lowest in the OECD. So I don’t think you could say it is a pandemic election result. I think there are other factors at play.

Frydenberg says climate change is “a salient and most important issue, not just here in Kooyong but obviously for the country”.

What I do believe is that Australia has not been well served by the culture wars on climate change. Whether you believe in it or don’t believe in it, climate change is not a religion. It needs to be dealt with from a perspective of engineering, economics and also environmental science. The Coalition has achieved a lot in helping Australia meet and beat its emissions reduction targets.

He’ll take time now to spend with his family, and to reflect on his future plans. He says he’s 50, and has time to do other things. And:

We need to get more women into parliament, that is not only a problem for the Coalition.

It is a priority for the other major parties, because what you saw in this election was also the Labor party vote dropped quite substantially.


“There is still some gas in this tank,” Frydenberg says:

I want every family, every child, every boy and every girl, regardless of their race, their religion, their ethnicity or their colour, to get the same opportunities that I have had, because this is what makes Australia great – equality of opportunities, but not always equality of outcomes. It is a defining principle, it is a defining motivation. For me, it is why I entered politics and why there is still some gas in this tank.

He says there were many factors in his party’s defeat, and points out that Scott Morrison has accepted responsibility. He says he remained loyal to Morrison for “stability”:

I think he has provided outstanding leadership, extraordinary leadership in extraordinary times. There was no playbook for the pandemic.

Yes, not everything went right, but not everything could go right. I am obviously very proud of the fact I was able to serve loyally as his deputy. I have always been loyal in the roles that I have had, whether it was under Tony Abbott or under Malcolm Turnbull, and then under Scott Morrison. I think Australia is best served by stability at the top of the political ladder. The fact that we haven’t had changing prime ministers over the last three years, as we have seen on both sides of the political divide over the previous years, I think is a good thing. And that is one of the reasons why I was obviously strongly supportive and loyal to Scott Morrison.


Frydenberg says the past three years serving as treasurer have been “rewarding” but “particularly challenging”. The government “threw everything at the task”, he says, reeling off the low unemployment rate and the turnaround in the bottom line. He says:

I am extremely proud of what I’ve been able to achieve as the member for Kooyong, both locally but also serving as the deputy leader of the Liberal party and as the treasurer, most recently, for our great country.

He’s always seen politics in a Menzian way, he says, “as a battle of ideas, not a clash of warring personalities”:

Sometimes you are dealing with victories, and other times defeat. But what is critically important is that you always retain a sense of perspective and you are reminded of why you went into politics in the first place. What motivated me back 12 years ago to become the member for Kooyong is still what motivates me today, namely to serve my community and to ensure that Australians get the very best opportunities.

Josh Frydenberg says victory in Kooyong 'mathematically possible'

Josh Frydenberg is talking now, in Melbourne, where his seat is under serious threat from independent Monique Ryan.

He says (as he did last night) that it was “mathematically possible” for him to retain Kooyong. He says:

With 16,000 postal votes still to count in Kooyong, about 12% of the overall vote, it is mathematically possible that I could retain Kooyong, but it is obviously very, very difficult.

That being said, I will wait until more postal votes are counted before saying any more about the particular results in Kooyong. I am extremely proud of what I have been able to achieve, both locally and nationally, over the last 12 years.

Outgoing treasurer Josh Frydenberg gets some love from a constituent this morning.
Outgoing treasurer Josh Frydenberg gets some love from a constituent this morning. Photograph: James Ross/AAP


New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Anthony Albanese and Labor on winning the Australian election, saying she looks forward to working with the new prime minister. She said:

I have no doubt we’ll have a strong working relationship that will serve both countries well.

Australia is our most important partner … and I believe our countries will work even more closely together in these tumultuous times.

She also acknowledged a “strong working relationship” with outgoing leader Scott Morrison. NZ and Australia, while closely allied, have had some tense moments under Morrison’s leadership – particularly over the Australian “501” policy of deporting residents with NZ citizenship on bad character or criminal record grounds, even if they had lived their entire lives in Australia.

In 2020 Ardern lashed out at Morrison at their annual bilateral summit, saying the policy was “testing” the friendship between the two nations, and Australia was deporting “your people and your problems” using “unfair” policies.

The NZ government has repeatedly pushed for a reconsideration of the policy, and will likely be hoping for movement under a new government. Also at the top of NZ’s concerns is the wider security of the Indo-Pacific, and the growing influence of China in the region. NZ’s rhetoric on China has typically been gentler than Australia’s, and the country has at times been accused by Australian commentators of being hamstrung by its significant trade reliance on China.

Ardern said she looked forward to working with Albanese “on a range of issues including supporting New Zealanders living in Australia, making trans-Tasman business even easier, deepening our partnership with our close friends in the Pacific, and advancing our interests on the world stage”. She said:

Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand are at our best when we work together; when we acknowledge our mutual interests, our shared values and the uniqueness of our perspectives; when we stand united as allies and whānau, recognising the strength in our diversity.


Nationals 'have a major role to play': Barnaby Joyce

Joyce congratulated Anthony Albanese, and said he hopes the incoming government “don’t put regional Australia projects to the sword”. He said:

We have fought because we need to make Australia a fair place, we need to have an expanse of investment across our nation, we need to invest ... beyond the major cities. Just concentrating on the cities, we will not be making this nation is strong as possible, as quickly as possible, we will be reinvested in the status quo and we need to be more dynamic than that.

I think that the National [party will] have a major role to play. I’m in the Nationals. The National vote, we got swings to us.


Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says the success of the teal independents has made the Coalition less diverse, the ABC reports:

When you look at it, it’s really strange – in attacking the Liberal candidates they’ve removed our Indigenous affairs minister, three openly gay people and one Asian member of parliament, is that what they wanted to achieve? Is that success for them, is it?

I think that’s something that people have to reflect on, it’s rather surprising where the moderate side of the party, they’ve been put to the sword by people who say they’re moderates.


And just back to Insiders for a second, here are the panellist’s final observations, including a very moving tribute to Caroline Jones from Katharine Murphy:


SA Liberal senator Alex Antic says Peter Dutton is a “likely” and a “strong” pick for leader.

He says the party should not have capitulated to the net zero emissions target, or mandated vaccines, and he has this insight into what went wrong:

The Liberal party’s experiment with the poison of leftism and progressivism must be over.

No deaths from Covid in the ACT yesterday

92 people are in hospital with Covid in the Australian Capital Territory, four in intensive care – and no deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours. 758 new cases were reported:


The AEC’s Tom Rogers also thanked staff and voters after a rather large staffing hiccup.

He said:

I’m so incredibly buoyed, and proud, of the way Australians come together on a day like yesterday – a massive national event all designed and conducted to help Australians have their say.

Some polling places had fewer staff than planned due to Covid and flu impacts, and polling officials worked long days but the team rallied together to collect the votes and get through the election night count – delivering an election night result to Australia once again.

It is also incredibly pleasing that the vast majority of Australians reported a smooth voting experience, including secure telephone voting for people in isolation with Covid-19.

The Australian Electoral Commission’s plan for today (I’ll expand on this in a bit):

The ABC’s David Speers asks Daniel what the government should do on gender inequality. She says:

Look, I think the main thing is listening and acting. There are things on the table that the Labor party has said it will do, and I will be there to hold them accountable to that. So the Respect At Work report recommendations, for example, narrowing the gender pay gap, more affordable, universal and flexible child care – this is about enabling the women in our community to be part of the workforce and to really achieve their full potential, but the other thing, David, is violence against women and children.

This is something that we have to address and we really need a commissioner, I think, with a ten-year depoliticised plan to address that issue, so that’s a key priority for me.

And on how the crossbench will work together, she says:

Well, independents already communicate and collaborate, and that’s a good thing. I think one of the failings of our two-party system has been their lack of capacity to do that and to achieve that and achieve bipartisanship.

I seek to be an honest broker from the crossbench. Yes, there will be conversations with my incoming fellow independents, but what Australia has elected on the crossbench this time around is a community crossbench, a group of people who seek to genuinely engage with and represent their communities, and I think that’s a wonderful thing.


Zoe Daniel to 'absolutely' seek more climate ambition from Labor

She will “absolutely” seek a more ambitious climate target from Labor, she says – she wants a 60% reduction in emissions by 2030. She says she accepts Labor has a mandate, but:

I have a mandate for the position of my community, and I will go in and argue that. I also think that any reasonable person looking at the climate targets that we have, and the progress that we are already making, particularly because of actions of state governments, would think that we can afford to actually be a bit more ambitious, so I think we should try.


Here’s Daniel’s analysis of why the Coalition lost:

Because the Liberal party lost its centre. People who would normally be small-l Liberals or who are potential swinging voters like me, who sort of drift across the centre, had no-one to vote for.

The Liberal party had drifted so far to the right that people didn’t feel represented. The Labor party has had an identity crisis where it has been trying to represent the workers and the inner-city professionals, and people like me who sit in the centre and go into the polling booth and think, ‘who on earth will I vote for?’.

All of a sudden, people like me popped up in seats and said, ‘hey, here is an alternative. Here is someone who will be a reasonable voice, who can negotiate with both sides, who can solve problems, who can collaborate on these really important issues,’ and issues that I think people feel they haven’t had an actual voice on in a seat like mine, on climate, where they feel they weren’t being represented by the local member.

Zoe Daniel, who ousted Liberal MP Tim Wilson from the seat of Goldstein, is up now. She credits the former MP for Indi, Cathy McGowan, for kickstarting the independents’ movement. She says:

Certainly not when I originally agreed to step into this, David, but I did come into it to win it. I thought we could be competitive and I think what we saw was momentum that increased not only in the seat of Goldstein by in those other seats across the country during the campaign as people recognised that there was an actual alternative in safe seats, in many cases for the first time, and people really grasped that. It is a hugely positive moment, I think in our political history n the sense that this is a movement that has grown from community.

And on Josh Frydenberg’s loss in Kooyong, Birmingham says:

It’s a devastating blow, and a loss of some enormous talent there with Josh. But that’s really a matter for Josh to contemplate whether he wants to come back and I don’t think he would expect anybody just to step aside or to cause that sort of disruption.

I’m sure Josh could give more to public life.

Birmingham says he doesn’t know who he’ll support to be the new Liberal leader. He’ll talk to Peter Dutton, and “other colleagues” as well:

It depends on who’s willing to put their hand up and who’s interested and then we can assess it from there.

He agrees on issues with Dutton more than people might expect, he says.

On whether the Coalition will weather opposition, Birmingham says the agreement between the Liberal and National parties has “served Australia well”, but:

The Liberal party needs to always stand for Liberal values and we need to make sure we win back voters who should hold those Liberal values, who do, I think, hold those Liberal values.

And on the “women” question:

We need to make sure we win back many more of those professionals and especially Australian women who are much more highly educated today thanks to wonderful opportunities provided by successive governments and a cohort that clearly we have failed to have represent ... we need to make sure we turn that around as well as the types of policies necessary to appeal to them.

The Coalition should commit to a more ambitious climate target, Birmingham says:

We need to make sure that Australians understand we acknowledge the science of climate change and some of us always have, but all of us must.

We acknowledge the need for Australia to play a leading role in action around the world and that we get our language as well as our policies right in that space. Given the fact that we are looking like we will exceed that 2030 position of 26 to 28%, of course, we should commit to being able to go further.

We obviously are a country who has shown great leadership actually in terms of the development of renewable resources. As I have said many times before, and it does remain a fact - our emissions exceed many others around the world. It should be a point of national celebration and where we can exceed our existing targets, then we should make sure that we do stretch to exceed those targets.

Simon Birmingham says National Energy Guarantee failure 'the turning point' for Coalition

Asked where it all went so wrong, Birmingham says:

You can go back to the same-sex marriage debate which dragged out unnecessarily long, but it should have been resolved by a simple conscience vote. I think the turning point was the failure in relation to the National Energy Guarantee. At that point, there was an opportunity for the Liberal party to lock into a policy in relation to energy markets and climate reductions in the energy sector and to lock into it in a way that could have achieved a degree of bipartisanship and put some of these matters behind us and the failure to be able to do so at that time has cost a significant price down the track.

The last election we saw perhaps both a message and a masking, if you like, the message came in the seat of Warringah and the result that Tony faced there and we should have acknowledged that had broader implications than just as it related to Tony.

The masking was, of course, that the very high taxing policies Labor was honest about at the last election meant that we were able to hold on in seats that perhaps had the same sentiment as Warringah, but didn’t quite go there last time. And now we’re paying the price for that.


Senior Liberal senator Simon Birmingham (former finance minister) is on Insiders now.

He congratulates Anthony Albanese, and says there were “many interesting factors” in the election loss, and:

You can see from the state of their primary vote that fewer than one in three Australians voted for the Labor party. This is perhaps the weakest mandate for an incoming government in Australia’s history.

It presents a challenging set of circumstances, because obviously we have lost and we have been delivered a comprehensive message from parts of the community, but we also have held on to what you would usually think would be the types of seats that precipitated a change of government, seats like Bass and Braddon, Lindsay or Longman appeared to have been held by the Liberal party and so it’s quite a challenging set of circumstances when you then look at where we have lost, and particularly traditionally heartland seats.

That is perhaps the loudest message to the Liberal party and it’s the one we are going to have to heed most strongly if we are to ensure that we’re in a position to be able to come back in three years’ time.

Will you stick with your existing climate policy? Marles says yes.

That’s what we sought a mandate for and that’s what we will take to the parliament.

It was a “desperate campaign” by the Coalition to paint Labor as too friendly to China, Marles says:

I think it’s really important that we are getting our questions right around our regional relationships in the Pacific, as I have said, around the hard power equation, meaning our procurements and particularly in terms of submarines, it’s fundamentally important to building Australia’s strategic space.

China remains a significant challenge. And we will seek to engage in the world and in a professional and a thoughtful way, we’re obviously believers in diplomacy. But China under President Xi has sought to shape the world around it in a way we have never seen before and it does present challenges for the nation. And we need to make sure that we meet those challenges and we do that by making sure that we are getting our relationships right in the region, that we pay the Pacific the attention that it deserves which this Government - this Coalition Government plainly failed to do.

And that we get the hard power equation right. The failure in respect of the management of submarines is just about the biggest procurement failure in defence that we have seen in our country’s history. It has left us dangerously exposed in terms of the capability gap for the next generation of submarine and all of that must be addressed.

The ABC’s David Speers asks Marles about the 4% drop in Labor’s primary vote in Victoria. Covid was part of it, he says, and:

We will unpack what is a very complicated election and make sure as professionals that we learn everything that there is to learn from it.

There clearly has been a lot of independents running who have received strong support and that speaks to a splintering of the primary vote across the board. I would point out that the two party-preferred vote across the nation is strong and, indeed, our result in Victoria in terms of a two-party preferred result is strong.

Labor will “learn the lessons” from Fowler, where party star Kristina Keneally is likely to have missed out (Marles points out they haven’t conceded yet).

Keneally has been an “enormous asset” for Labor, but Marles says it’s too early to discuss whether she’ll pop up somewhere else.

Marles declines to reveal which roles he’ll have, and says he’d “get off on the wrong foot” with the new prime minister if he announced that now.

He won’t be going to Japan with Albanese, which leaves him as acting prime minister in Albanese’s absence.

Labor hopeful of achieving majority: Richard Marles

Deputy prime minister (elect), Richard Marles, says the election was a “historic moment”. He tells the ABC:

I think Anthony Albanese’s achievement really over the last three years, which has been as difficult a period in which I can remember to lead Labor, both after the grief, really, of the 2019 result, but then clearly leading us through the pandemic when the place of oppositions is not very significant.

He also says there won’t be any deals in forming government, while working with the crossbench is always necessary:

I think there is a bit of counting to go, and we are hopeful that we can achieve a majority in our own right. The point that we’ve made all through the campaign is that what we are taking to the Australian people is what we will take to the parliament, so there are not going to be any deals in forming government.

I would also make the point, though, that whatever happens in the House of Representatives, we absolutely know that there will be a crossbench in the Senate, as there has been throughout my political life, and working with crossbenchers is always needed to be done in order to get legislation through.


This isn’t over yet:

From the Greens candidate for Franklin, Jade Darko:’s Samantha Maiden tells Insiders the election shows “women didn’t believe Scott Morrison got them... and in the end they ‘got’ Scott Morrison”.

David Crowe, from the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, says “there was an element of the government passing its use-by date” and that Morrison got on the wrong side of Australians on “issue after issue after issue”, including on women, integrity, the fires, the floods, the vaccine rollout, and the Rats distribution.

Our own Katharine Murphy says it was more than a repudiation of Morrison, it was “a repudiation of the way politics was conducted”:

Last night we saw the most substantial realignment of the electorate that I have seen in my reporting lifetime.


Prime minister-elect Anthony Albanese will be sworn in tomorrow, along with senior members of his cabinet before travelling to Japan for the Quad meeting – the ABC reports he’s likely to hold a press conference later today (you’d hope so!).

Outgoing prime minister Scott Morrison left Kirribilli House with his family this morning, but hasn’t spoken to the media. The ABC reports the Morrisons are preparing to move back to “the Shire”.

Josh Butler brings the colour from the Labor party party:

It was only around the time the pyramid of Albo ale cans was built – red cylinders piled four rows high – that Labor supporters started daring to believe they’d gotten home.

The Liberal party learning the lessons of the election... or not:

10 people die from Covid in Victoria

And in Victoria, 10 people have died. 541 people are in hospital with Covid, 29 in intensive care. Victoria recorded 9,307 new cases:


NSW Covid: 7 people die, 8,523 new cases

Seven people have died from Covid in New South Wales. 1,165 people are in hospital, 36 in intensive care. NSW recorded 8,523 new cases:


The Australian Senate, master of the plot twist:

The results in Western Australia were just one of the surprise outcomes of the election. Narelle Towie reports:

Followed by this:


Ryan’s asked about whether she’ll be “malleable” on issues of national security, including Chinas. She says:

Well, I wouldn’t say I was malleable, but I would say I’m a pragmatist ... and a sensible person who is results driven. I’ll work with the government in a sensible and responsible fashion. I think that we have heard from the electorate how they feel about the Coalition’s sloganeering and negative campaigning. I think, hopefully, we can move on from that and work towards a more positive, less partisan future where the major parties work together with the crossbench in order to secure the outcomes that the people of Australia want.

Ryan repeats what she said earlier, that she will offer confidence and supply to Labor only if there’s a more ambitious climate change target. She supports Warringah independent MP Zali Steggall’s plan for a 60% reduction in emissions by 2030 as an “absolute minimum”.

I will work with Zali Steggall and hopefully with other members of the crossbench in order to secure movement towards that. The Labor party’s stated aim of a low 40s reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 is inadequate and we need to do better than that.


Ryan (who has magically appeared on ABC television as she was still talking on radio) says she had a grassroots campaign “the likes of which has never been seen before”.

She still hasn’t had a concession call from Josh Frydenberg.

The ABC’s Fran Kelly calls her the “giant killer” of the campaign, and asks her about a reference she made in a tweet last night to waking up this morning, feeling like she was in a “strange dream”. She says:.

Just that the song that we played last night was Hunters & Collectors’ song, the Holy Grail. The first line of that is, ‘I woke up this morning from the strangest dream, I was in the biggest army the world has ever seen..’


Monique Ryan hails 'teal revolution' and declares independent movement 'here to stay'

Ryan says the independents will work together, and also work with the major parties (she was asked whether there would be a formal “teal” group working together). But they’re not a party, she says:

No, we’re not a party in any way, shape or form.

She says she doesn’t see Frydenberg as a liberal (I’m assuming she means small ‘l’ liberal), and:

There’s been a teal revolution at this election, and it’s the power of democracy ... I find it incredible that people have spoken in this way. Things have changed ... and the independent movement is here to stay.


Dr Monique Ryan, who’s nicked Kooyong from Josh Frydenberg, says the results show Australians are “really dissatisfied with the government that we’ve had for the last several years”.

We want action on climate change, we want integrity and transparency in government, we want better gender equity, and we want a more generous approach to the most vulnerable.

And if there’s a hung parliament, she says, she won’t deliver Labor confidence and supply unless they offer a more ambitious climate change target.

Gallagher won’t rise to the bait on whether that big teal and Greens crossbench could force Labor to take more dramatic climate action. She says:

We had a clear target in the election campaign, a clear policy, and in government we’ll do exactly what we said we would do.

Incoming finance minister Katy Gallagher tells ABC radio that Australians voted on the “clear issues” of the campaign including climate and integrity.

She says Labor has the “right economic plan” (which has echoes of Scott Morrison on the campaign trail). And it will end the climate wars, she says. Asked if there’s scope for a more ambitious climate policy, she says:

We’ll implement the plan we took to the election, but it’s clear Australians want to end the climate wars and see real action on climate change, climate policy, and all the economic opportunities that will come.


That Paul Karp wields his words real good:

The Liberals flirted with turning the ABC coverage on blast on the big screen, but when Antony Green observed that he couldn’t see the Liberals winning more than 70 seats, suddenly the feed was cut in favour of soft aimless jazz, pervasive elevator music the soundtrack to attenuated disappointment.

ABC radio will have Monique Ryan (the likely new MP for Kooyong) and Katy Gallagher (the likely new finance minister) on shortly. And not long after that:


Winners and losers will shortly emerge from under their doonas to continue dissecting the election results. While they were sleeping, France’s outgoing foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, had some things to say about Scott Morrison’s defeat. He said the Coalition’s dumping of the submarine deal with his country showed “brutality and cynicism” and even possibly “unequivocal incompetence”. He said:

I can’t stop myself from saying that the defeat of Morrison suits me very well.

We have many crunched numbers for you here, on our live results page:

There’s much more to discuss about downstairs, but let’s take a peek upstairs. The Senate, the house of review, is often hostile to whoever holds power in the House of Representatives.

The new Labor government is likely to face a crossbench dominated by the Greens – as Ben Raue writes, that’s a friendlier scenario. (Although, while Anthony Albanese promised an end to the climate wars, it will be interesting to see how the Greens wield their new power to force faster climate change action). Here’s Raue:

If you’re already on the move, plug in your headphones. Katharine Murphy and Lenore Taylor (already!) have a podcast out. They’re talking to Jane Lee about, well, everything – including that outlandishly large crossbench:

Sarah Martin pulled together the threads from yesterday (and into this morning’s wee hours), including prime minister-elect Anthony Albanese’s victory speech. He said:

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.

Read her full piece here:

And before we wade right into the weeds, Katharine Murphy (somehow, after a very long day) wrote this sharp, incisive piece on how the Liberal party got here, and where it might go next:

We’re going to come at you hard and fast this morning. It’s going to be wild. But if you’re still caffeinating and getting your day under way, here’s a nice transition piece. Please enjoy pics of the pooches at polling places:

Good morning

Welcome to the morning after the night before!

Australia has a new prime minister, the Greens’ and the teals’ stars are rising, and Scott Morrison will hand over to a new Liberal leader. The political landscape has had (and sorry for the overused word, here) a seismic shift.

In his acceptance speech, Anthony Albanese pledged to implement the Uluru Statement from the Heart, to end the climate wars, and to oversee a kinder and more caring government. He said:

I want to seek our common purpose and promote unity and not fear. Optimism, not fear and division.

And we’ll hear more about how the women roared in this election.

A shock loss (to be specific, an expected but nearly certain loss) was Josh Frydenberg, whose seat of Kooyong is set to fall to independent Monique Ryan, leaving Peter Dutton (who himself got a scare in the early counting) as the front Liberal leader contender.

Moderate Tim Wilson lost Goldstein to independent Zoe Daniel, and other moderates including Dave Sharma, Trent Zimmerman and Jason Falinski also looked set to lose.

A Labor majority is not yet confirmed, but Albanese said his team would get straight to work – the first thing on his agenda is going to Japan for the Quad meeting together with foreign affairs minister Penny Wong.

In the wee hours of this morning, both major parties sat on primary votes in the low 30s, and both had swings against them. The Greens had a 2.3% lift, and were hopeful of picking up two more lower house seats on top of those already declared.

A swag of seats are still too close to call.

The counting continues today, and Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Daniel Hurst, Josh Butler, Paul Karp, and the rest of the Guardian Australia team will make sure you’re kept in the loop.