Tony Abbott claims victory for the
Coalition in the 2013 Federal Election(source: Sydney Morning
Herald, images: ABC)
Tony Abbott has claimed victory
for the Coalition in the 2013 federal election.
Earlier Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded defeat and announced that he
would not recontest the leadership of the Labor Party, saying it was
''time for renewal''.
To a jubilant crowd of supporters in Sydney, Mr Abbott said the
Coalition had won 13 seats clearly, with 10 seats ''still in play''.
''I can inform you that the government of Australia has changed,'' he
said, before he was drowned out by the crowd.
Mr Abbott repeated his election
pledges, saying the carbon tax would go, the boats would be stopped and the
budget would be on track for a ''believable surplus''.
''From today, I declare that Australia is under new management and that
Australia is once more open for business.''
Mr Abbott acknowledged that Mr Rudd
had conceded defeat as well as his ''service''.
''I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is
trustworthy, and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets
about delivering on our commitments to you, the Australian people.''
The new prime minister elect said that
in a ''week of so'' Governor-General Quentin Bryce would swear in the new
''Today, the people of Australia have declared that the right to govern this
country does not belong to Mr Rudd or to me or to his party or to ours; but
it belongs to you, the people of Australia,'' Mr Abbott said.
Mr Rudd said that he had called Mr
Abbott to congratulate him on his victory. ''I gave it my all but it was not
enough for us to win,'' Mr Rudd told a crowd of cheering Labor Party
supporters in Brisbane.
Mr Rudd said he was proud he had
helped preserve Labor as a ''viable fighting force'' for the future. ''Ben
Chifley's light on the hill will continue forever,'' he declared. Mr Rudd
told a gathering of the party faithful in Brisbane: ''I have been honoured
to serve as your Prime Minister and as your party's leader.''
''But there comes a time when you know
you've given it your all and a time for the party to further renew its
leadership for the future. ''For me that time is now. So I will not be
recontesting the leadership of the parliamentary Labor Party.''
The Australian people deserved a
''fresh start'', Mr Rudd said. ''I know this will not be welcome news to
some of you. But my responsibility has been to maintain Labor as a fighting
force for the future so that we can unite behind the next leader of our
Mr Rudd told the audience they would
not hear his voice in public life for some time, and that was ''as it should
be''. He had taken the decision with a ''heavy heart'' because he loved the
Labor Party, loved the movement and loved ''the vision we have for
The mood at the Labor post-election party was so buoyant that Mr Rudd had to
calm down their whistling and chanting so he could begin talking. ''Kevin!
Kevin! Kevin!'' they yelled. ''Geez, I though we had lost,'' Mr Rudd said.
Mr Rudd said the ''miracle'' and the
''marvel'' of Australia was that there was ''more that unites us than
divides us''. Though Mr Rudd was less generous about his LNP opponent, Bill
Glasson, whom he defeated for the seat of Griffith.
''It would be un-primisterial of me to say Bill Glasson eat your heart out,
so I won't,'' he said.
Mr Rudd said he and his wife Therese
Rein were looking forward to greeting Mr Abbott and his wife Margie at the
Lodge next week with the same generosity that John and Janette Howard
welcomed his family six years ago.
Mr Rudd also said that as evidence of
Labor's success, every sitting member of cabinet who recontested their seats
had been returned. Addressing his campaign staff, Mr Rudd said: ''For
putting up with me, I thank you for that.''
Former prime minister Julia Gillard
took to Twitter after Mr Rudd's concession speech, to commiserate with her
old colleagues. ''A tough night for Labor,'' Ms Gillard wrote. ''But a
spirited fight by Kevin, Albo, George + the whole team. My thoughts are with
you all. JG''
Outgoing Defence Minister Stephen
Smith praised Mr Rudd's decision to resign from the leadership as the
''sensible" thing to do'' - but still called on Mr Rudd to leave parliament.
''It is in his interests and our interests . . . to leave the Parliament at
some early time,'' he said.
Mr Smith said that the ''next
generation'' - including Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Mark Butler -
needed a chance. ''You have to strike out for the future,'' he said. ''They
can't now get bogged down on who said what to who, or was it Rudd or what it
Former minister Greg Combet said he
endorsed Mr Smith's assessment that Mr Rudd should leave Parliament.
Despite a poor showing for Labor at
the polls, losses in Western Sydney were not as bad as expected, and Labor
has so far lost just one seat in Queensland, Capricornia.
Rudd backer and Treasurer Chris Bowen,
who has held on to his seat of McMahon, said that Labor had done better than
expected. ''Across the board it's a difficult night for the Labor Party, but
compared to what we may have faced, 6 or 12 months ago, it's a result which
I think will stand us in good stead for the next three years,'' he told ABC
Mr Combet also said that the results
for his party were not as bad as expected. ''The outcome seats-wise doesn't
look quite as bad for us as had been anticipated," he told ABC TV.
Early Labor-held seats to fall to the
Coalition are La Trobe and Corangamite in Victoria and Bass, Braddon and
Lyons in Tasmania, but Labor retained Franklin in that state. The central
coast NSW seat of Robertson is also a loss for Labor to the Coalition, as is
the NSW seats of Page and Lindsay.
Also lost for Labor are the Victorian
seat of Deakin, the South Australian seat of Hindmarsh and the Northern
Territory seat of Lingiari.
Coalition candidates have also won in
the formerly independent-held seats of New England and Lyne. Barnaby Joyce
has successfully moved from the Senate to the lower house, taking New
England, the seat formerly held by Tony Windsor. The Nationals have also
held off a challenge from the Liberals in the Victorian seat of Mallee.
High-profile candidate Clive Palmer is
in with a chance to win the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax held by retiring
Coalition MP Alex Somlyay.Mr Palmer had attracted close to 29 per cent of
the vote, with more than 55 per cent of the votes counted.
Former speaker Peter Slipper has
conceded the Queensland seat of Fisher, with former Howard government
minister Mal Brough set to return to Parliament.
Independent Andrew Wilkie has held his
seat of Denison in Tasmania with a strong swing to him despite a concerted
campaign by Labor. Greens MP Adam Bandt will retain Melbourne despite the
Liberal party directly preferences away from the Greens.
In some good news for Labor Rudd
supporter Ed Husic has retained his western Sydney seat of Chifley as did
Michelle Rowland in Greenway against a challenge from Jaymes Diaz.
Kate Ellis has retained her seat of
Adelaide in South Australia.
Matt Thistlewaite has successfully
moved from the Senate to retain the Sydney seat of Kingsford-Smith for Labor.
He stood for the seats after former education minister Peter Garrett
resigned from politics when Kevin Rudd was returned to the Labor leadership.
Prime Minister of Australia, Hon.
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