Labor leader Anthony Albanese has claimed victory in an extraordinary federal election that has swept the Coalition out of power while vaulting independent candidates into parliament to create a more powerful crossbench to negotiate with the new government. Anthony Albanese is set to become Australia’s next prime minister after leading the Labor Party to its first election victory in almost a decade.
One of the country’s longest-serving politicians, he promised voters “safe change” as he worked to kick out the conservative Liberal-National coalition which has been in power since 2013.
Where ousted Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a self-described “bulldozer”, Mr Albanese vows to be a “builder”.
After the pandemic, which saw Australian states cut off from each other and cities splintered by strict lockdowns, fostering unity is a top priority for the new leader.
“I want to bring Australians together. I want to seek our common purpose and promote unity and optimism, not fear and division,” he said in a victory speech on Saturday night.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat shortly after 10.30pm (Australian Time) on Saturday after phoning Albanese to congratulate the Labor leader on his party’s victory.