Anthony Albanese has led the Labor Party to victory and will now be Australia’s next Prime Minister.
The Australian public voted to end nine years of conservative rule yesterday, with the Australian Labor Party holding 73 seats out of 76 required for a majority government as of early morning Monday. The Liberal National Party has thus far secured 51 seats; Independents have clinched 10, and Greens have three.
"Tonight, the Australian people have voted for change,” Albanese announced in his victory speech. “Together, we can end the climate wars. We can make equal opportunity for women a national economic and social priority. Together, we begin the work of building a better future. A better future for all Australians.”
Scott Morrison, who served as Prime Minister from 2018, conceded defeat by claiming “tonight was a difficult night.”
"In this country, at a time like this, when we look around the world, in particular when we see those in Ukraine fighting for their very freedom and liberty, we can reflect on the greatness of our democracy,” he said. “I've always believed in Australians and their judgement.”
BREAKING: @ALBOMP has been elected PM of 🇦🇺. There is no time to waste — let's work together to end extreme poverty NOW. PLEASE deliver on increased intl aid to help us achieve a poverty-free world. It’s time to get to work for the 700+ million people living in extreme poverty. pic.twitter.com/5ymBp0rdsH— Global Citizen Australia (@GlblCtznAU) May 21, 2022
Once the final votes are counted, Albanese will have to put together a new Cabinet.
Only then can the government begin introducing its top parliamentary priorities, which will likely revolve around implementing the Uluru Statement from the Heart, revitalising the nation’s aged and childcare systems, establishing an anti-corruption commission, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating tens of thousands of new university places in areas with skills shortages.
Labor has also long promised to increase the nation’s international aid budget.
Sarah Meredith, the regional director of Global Citizen Oceania, says holding Labor to account for its pledge to grow overseas aid from the current rate of 0.21% of gross national income to 0.7% — the United Nation’s recommended level of spending — will be critical.
"Australians have sent a pretty clear message that they no longer want a business-as-usual approach to international development and want to see an increased aid budget and support for our neighbours and those living in extreme poverty,” Meredith said. “Global Citizen looks forward to working with the new government to see their commitments realised and to assist efforts for Australia showing up in a more ambitious way on the international stage.”
Election night brought with it an array of firsts.
Linda Burney was elected as the nation’s next Minister for Indigenous Affairs, making her the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman to hold the portfolio. The Greens, meanwhile, recorded their best ever results, with trends across the country showing the majority of Australians care deeply for more robust climate action.
The greatest changes occurred with a number of women Independents coming into the Parliament sending a clear signal that the women’s vote defined the election. Attention was also placed on the new Labor caucus' diversity, with Australians holding Chinese, Laos, Indian, Malaysian, Kenyan and Sri Lankan heritage all winning seats.