Australian PM to decide cabinet following election win

Barnaby Joyce

Barnaby Joyce says Albanese should follow the mantra of Paul Keating

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared victory in the 2016 federal election, putting an end to a chaotic race that revealed growing divisions within the country.

The need for Mr Turnbull to court the support of those outside his party led him to stress that he valued every parliamentarian's contribution, even though he had earlier warned Australians not to vote for minor parties and independents during the election campaign.

Though the question of who won the July 2 election was answered, the question of exactly how the conservatives will rule the fractured Parliament was not.

The conservative coalition has expressed confidence that it will have enough seats to govern with a majority after declaring it had won support of three independent politicians.

There has been no mention of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott returning to the frontbench, despite calls from West Australian Premier Colin Barnett for Abbott to return to cabinet. The result has raised the prospect that Turnbull could face a leadership challenge from colleagues unhappy with the party's weak showing. Though the final makeup of Parliament's upper house is unlikely to be known for weeks, no party will win a majority of seats.

However, a patchwork Senate with minor party and independent members holding the balance of power is likely to frustrate his efforts to get laws passed without deals.

The turbulence has already caused other problems.

Shorten and Albanese have reportedly been at odds over leadership
Shorten and Albanese have reportedly been at odds over leadership

Moody's said such a scenario would be "credit negative", echoing S&P's decision last week to cut Australia's credit rating outlook to negative from stable, threatening a downgrade of its coveted triple A status.

Mr Shorten said Labor would work with the government to push through reforms where the parties shared common ground. His declaration of victory was delayed because the outcome depended on 11 seats, including some where Labor and government candidates were only a few hundred votes apart.

"I hope for our nation's sake the coalition does a good job", Shorten told reporters in Melbourne.

"It is vital that this parliament works; it is vital that we work together and, as far as we can, find ways upon which we can all agree", Turnbull added.

"I expect them to do nothing less than to keep their promises they made to the Australian people". That is one area in which he and Turnbull are aligned; the prime minister has long advocated for a move to electronic voting.

"We're a grown-up democracy, it shouldn't take eight days to find out who's won", said Shorten.

Asked whether Labor would consider blocking the plebiscite-enabling legislation, Mr Shorten said: "We'll have a look at this matter".

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