Australia prime minister declares win in marathon election

The two seats the coalition hopes to pick up are among five in the balance, with the electoral commission still completing the painstaking task of counting postal votes and others cast outside people's normal electorates.

"We have won the election", announced Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of the Liberal-National right-wing coalition, during a Sunday press conference.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday returned to the capital, Canberra to decide on his cabinet ministers for the 45th Parliament, after he secured victory in the 2016 federal election.

Though the final makeup of Parliament's upper house is unlikely to be known for weeks, no party will win a majority of seats.

With several uncertain seats still being counted but the Coalition expecting to be able to govern with a majority in its own right, Shorten on Sunday contacted Turnbull to congratulate him and his wife Lucy.

There are two possibilities: Either the coalition will form a majority government by a slim margin, or the country will have a hung Parliament.

"That's a real change in the dynamic for New Zealanders and particularly Maori here in Australia", says Areti Metuamate.

Mr Shorten added earlier: "I will be writing to Mr Turnbull and saying, "really, we're a grown-up democracy, it shouldn't be taking eight days to find out who's won and who's lost".

While Turnbull retained power, his gamble in calling an election, ostensibly to clear the Senate of what he saw as obstructive minor parties, backfired badly with a swing to the centre-left Labor opposition and a rise in the popularity of minor parties and independents.

Still, Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, who was slapped down for celebrating victory early on Friday, said the coalition had a clear mandate to deliver on its election promises. This will also ensure that the Coalition will have the seats to install a speaker in the lower house. "There will always be crossbenchers in the Senate", Mr Turnbull said. "We have some great new stars coming into parliament, I want to welcome them, it will be a new parliament with many new faces - new and younger face." he said. "I hope they run a good government". "Everything we do is about the future", Turnbull said. If that happens, Turnbull's Liberal Party-led coalition will need to forge an alliance with independent and minor party lawmakers to form a minority government. The lesson for me is to never give up and to trust the Australian people.

'It has been the longest election in 50 years and indeed it seems the last eight days have been very long, ' Mr Shorten said.

Australians usually know who their next leader will be on the night of their vote, but the July 2 poll was too close to call, triggering a complicated system of centralized vote counting that still hasn't technically finished.

Turnbull had managed to get the top position only after a leadership contest within his party, ousting the then-leader of the Liberal Party, Tony Abbott, in September 2015.

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