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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Australia Liberal-National Coalition Prepares for Third Term

SYDNEY – The Liberal-National Coalition is preparing for its third consecutive term after winning the Australian election on Saturday.

It is unknown whether the group, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, will be able to form a government on its own or will need alliances.

While the count of votes continues, there is no doubt that Morrison will direct the executive, a position he has occupied since August, especially after opposition Labor leader Bill Shorten admitted defeat on Saturday night.

Morrison, who defied the forecasts of the polls, went to church with his wife on Sunday like any ordinary “father of the family,” the image with which he managed to defeat Labor, who presented an ambitious proposal against climate change.

The conservative politician, a man who always believed in “miracles” as he said in his acceptance speech, and now a hero of the Liberal Party, conducted an effective election campaign on social networks to reach the “silent” citizen, for which he has promised to work.

“Voters do not want action against climate change if it is perceived as a cost to the economy,” Adrian Beaumont, an expert in statistics at the University of Melbourne, said in an article in The Conversation.

He predicted that the coalition will achieve 77 of the 151 seats in the lower house.

The coalition received a lot of electoral support in the state of Queensland, rich in mining resources and where there is a proposal to develop a coal mine.

Despite having a regional Labor government, this northeastern state gave majority support to the Liberal-National Coalition.

Morrison became prime minister in August after snatching the post from his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, in a leadership struggle within the Liberal Party.

Saturday’s vote was the third consecutive elections won by the Liberal-National Coalition after victories in 2013 and 2016.

Morrison’s formation could obtain 76 seats, in front of the 69 of the opposing Labor Party, whereas three minority parties and three independent legislators would have obtained a deputy each one in the House of Representatives, according to the projections of the Australian Electoral Commission.

The Commission has until June 28 to officially present the names of the winners to the governor general but there are three jurisdictions in which it is not clear who will be the representative.

It is unclear whether the coalition will govern in its own right or have to make alliances with two representatives from the three independent formations, which include the Green Party, or the other three independent deputies that are expected to enter parliament.

The coalition technically needs at least 76 of the 151 seats in the lower house to govern in a majority.

While the coalition is preparing for its third term with a reshuffle of the cabinet, Labor is debating a change of leadership after the resignation of Bill Shorten, who will remain as a legislator.

The election was another situation in which the polls failed to accurately predict the outcome.

“The pollsters were wrong with Brexit and they were wrong with Trump and now they were wrong with the federal elections here in Australia,” said Josh Frydenberg, head of the Treasury Office.

Five days before the election, Bela Stantic, director of digital data analysis at the Australian University of Griffith, studied more than two million comments on social networks and predicted a Morrison win, just as he predicted victory for Trump and Brexit.

“We live today in a virtual world and we have better access through social networks, public opinion can be analyzed better in social networks than in surveys,” he said.

“People are more honest when they talk with their friends than when they answer surveys.”

 

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