Australian election too close to call

Australian election too close to call

Australian election too close to call

Australia's prime minister and opposition leader are trying to drum up support from minor parties in a desperate bid to form a working government after a tight election failed to deliver an immediate victor.

"Business is appealing to Australia's political leaders to provide a road map as soon as possible through the uncertainty of an unclear election result to a functioning government", Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott told reporters.

A Fairfax Media analysis of the lower house seat count, with about 80 per cent of votes counted, has the Coalition on track for 70 seats, 67 for Labor, six Greens and independents and seven seats - Dunkley, Gilmore, Capricornia, Forde, Hindmarsh, Chisholm and Cowan too close to call.

Either party needs 76 seats to form majority government, and the AEC reports that five seats are close, three of which are leaning towards the LNP and two to the ALP. The Australian Electoral Commission said 400,000 of an expected 1.5 million postal votes had yet to arrive by Tuesday.

According to the AEC's tally room, the Labor Party now has 69 seats leading in the House of Representatives, where the Liberal/National Coalition has 64.

However, both ticked up after Moody's Investors Service said short-lived political uncertainty would have limited implications for Australia's coveted triple-A credit rating.

With the possibility of a hung parliament looming, Turnbull and Shorten both said they had contacted the five independent lawmakers who could make up a minority government if needed.

Who's who in Australia's 2016 federal elections?

"Looking ahead, trends in Australia's credit profile will be determined by whether fiscal objectives are effectively implemented, whether external financing conditions remain favourable and how housing market developments affect domestic growth and financial conditions", Marie Diron, Senior Vice President at Moody's, said in a statement.

Mr Turnbull said the government would have to do more to reaffirm the people's faith in the coalition's commitment to health and to Medicare.

Turnbull's address to the Liberal headquarters at a Sydney hotel came only in the wee hours of Sunday.

Turnbull was facing fierce criticism from all sides on Monday for his decision to call a rare early election.

After years of political turmoil, Australians head to the polls with leaders of the nation's major parties each promising to brin.

His Senate reforms had put more minority parties into the upper house, including Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

"What we will do is ensure that we work constructively and effectively with all of the members of the new Parliament to ensure that we deliver the stability and the leadership that Australians expect", Turnbull said.

Early projections suggest that if the conservatives retain power, they would need the support of eight of 10 crossbenchers to pass contentious bills.

"In the end the most important thing now is for us to be united and that is the view of the conservative element of the Liberal Party", he told Sky News.

"Three years after the Liberals came to power in a landslide, they have lost their mandate", Shorten said in a speech to jubilant supporters late Saturday. Vote counting could still take several days, electoral officials have said.

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