Australia's conservative PM celebrates 'miracle' win

Despite polls showing Australian Labor Party defeating incumbent PM Scott Morrison's coalition, Liberal-National party expands majority.

David Rosenberg ,

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was reelected over the weekend, defying polls which showed the rival Labor Party defeating his Liberal-National Coalition.

Morrison, 51, had served as premier since the ouster of his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull was pushed out by conservative members of the Liberal Party last year.

Following Turnbull’s ouster, polls showed a nearly double-digit advantage for the Labor Party.

Despite improving poll numbers for the Liberal-National Coalition in the final weeks of the campaign, the polls still suggested Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Labor would defeat Morrison’s coalition – a union of the conservative Liberal Party, the Liberal National Party, and the National Party of Australia.

While the final count of ballots has yet to be completed, Morrison’s Liberal-National Coalition is currently projected to win 77 seats in the 151 member House of Representatives, one more than the 76 needed for an absolute majority, and one more than the coalition won in 2016. Labor, by contrast, is projected to win just 66 to 68 seats – a decline compared to the 69 seats it won in 2016.

After defying the polls, Prime Minister Morrison called the win an electoral miracle.

"I've always believed in miracles," Morrison said in his victory speech. "Tonight we've been delivered another one."

Shorten, by contrast, resigned after conceding defeat.

"It is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next government,” Shorten said.