Morrison can't wait to get back to work after Oz poll surprise

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 20 May 2019

A jubilant Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed yesterday to get straight back to work after a shock election victory by his conservative government.

The opposition Labor Party began another bout of post-election soul-searching while starting the task of finding a new leader after Bill Shorten stepped down following an emphatic defeat in a poll many saw as "unloseable" for his party.

The center-left Labor, which has governed Australia for only 38 of its 118 years as a federation, was rated an overwhelming favorite to topple the Liberal-National coalition government after its six years in power.

Instead, Morrison - who became prime minister only last August when a contentious internal party vote dumped Malcolm Turnbull as its leader - swept the coalition to victory with what is likely to be an increased representation. With 75 percent of votes counted, the coalition had won 74 of the 76 seats needed to form a majority government. It went into the election as a minority government, with just 73 seats.

The 51-year-old said that he was eager to return to work today to form his new government.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Morrison said. "We're going to get back to work for the Australians that we know go to work every day, who face those struggles and trials every day.

"They're looking for a fair go and ... they're going to get a go from our government."

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