Australia: Labor's Anthony Albanese speaks after election vote
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This weekend Australia has been holding its latest Federal Election, which has been widely viewed as a straight shoot-out between incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Labour leader Anthony Albanese. But Mr Morrison has conceded victory to his rival who looks on course to secure a resounding majority.
As of 2pm on Saturday, May 21 the Australian Labour Party are four seats away from being able to form a majority Government.
Mr Albanese’s party requires at least 76 seats out of the 151 strong lower house to form a Government by itself.
Analysts expect a coalition made up of independent and minor parties to push Labour over the threshold if they can’t achieve a majority by themselves.
Today’s result will send shockwaves across the globe, including the UK where Boris Johnson has been working on a post-Brexit trade deal with Australia.
So, what exactly would a Labour win in Australia mean for the British Isles?
Nearly a decade of Liberal party dominance in Australia has coincided with unmoved Conservative Governments back in the UK.
During this period the two countries have been able to form strong links and enforce a number of policies that mirror one another.
For example, last year the UK, US and Australia negotiated the Aukus defence pact to help negate concerns about China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.
It remains to be seen how a changing of the guard to a Labour administration could affect relations between Canberra and London, but Conservatives MPs have been told “don’t panic” and that the post-Brexit trade deal is safe.
A senior source at the Department for International Trade told Express.co.uk there was no cause for concern as “the deal is done” and will not be cancelled.
They added: “In principle agreement last summer and the deal signed this winter. What is happening now is legislation to bring it into affect. Doesn’t appear to be any worries from [International Trade secretary] Anne-Marie Trevelyan.”
Mr Albanese’s election campaign has focussed on “safe change” and “renewal not revolution”. He has pledged small but significant changes on the issues of climate change, cost of living and wage growth.
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The 59-year-old has also endorsed Australia’s controversial ‘stop the boats’ policy, turning away asylum seekers from the country’s borders.
As analysts expect little to change domestically the same could occur with foreign policies, including Australia’s interactions with the UK.
Mr Albanese is one of Australia’s longest serving MPs, having spent 25 years in the political arena.
Among the public he’s earned a reputation as a defender of Australia’s free healthcare system and an advocate for the LGBT community.
In Australia voting in elections is compulsory for everyone above the age of 18, with 26 million adults due to take part in the upcoming vote.
The Australian Parliament is made up of two houses. The lower is the House of Representatives and the upper is the Senate.
The House of Representatives consists of 151 MPs, which each represent an area of roughly 140,000 people.
All 151 seats have a maximum term of three years, but the Government can call an election sooner to increase their chances of re-election.
The Senate operates on a different system, whereby only half of its 76 seats come up for election every three years.
Each of the six states has 12 senators, while the two mainland territories have two.
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