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Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Voice of the Commonwealth - The Global Influencer

Australia’s new Prime Minister: ‘Lastnight the Australian people voted for change’

SYDNEY (CU)_Anthony Albanese on Saturday (21 May) became the fourth leader to win government for the Labour Party since the Second World War, claiming victory in an election that has transformed the country’s political landscape. The coalition has been left in disarray, having lost more than a dozen seats to Labour, paving the way for Albanese to be sworn in as Australia’s next Prime Minister.

Delivering his victory speech shortly before midnight on Saturday, the Prime Minister-elect thanked voters for the “extraordinary honour”, adding that he is “humbled by this victory”. “And I say to my fellow Australians, thank you for this extraordinary honour. Tonight, the Australian people have voted for change. I am humbled by this victory and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as the 31st prime minister of Australia,” he said. “My Labour team will work every day to bring Australians together. And I will lead a government worthy of the people of Australia. A government as courageous and hardworking and caring as the Australian people are themselves.”

Albanese also expressed his gratitude to the outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who “very graciously” wished him well. “And I thanked him for that and I wish him well. And I thank him for the service that he has given to our country as Prime Minister,” he added. The Labour leader went on to note that he hopes his backstory as the son of a single mother on a disability pension would inspire Australians. “My fellow Australians, it says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mum who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” Albanese said. “Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars.”

With 60 per cent of the votes counted, the Labour party was on track to win enough seats to form a majority government, having secured 73 seats ahead of the coalition at the time. This is after the Coalition lost a range of key marginals to the opposition, including Reid and Robertson in New South Wales, Higgins and Chisholm in Victoria, Hasluck and Swan in Western Australia and Boothby in South Australia.

Meanwhile, Albanese said that as the Prime Minister of Australia, he would respect all members of the public, regardless of who they voted for, adding that he would seek to get the vote next time of those who did not vote for him on Saturday. “I can promise all Australians this — no matter how you voted today, the government I lead will respect every one of you every day. And I’ll seek to get your vote next time,” he said. “We are the greatest country on earth. But we can have an even better future if we seize the opportunities that are right there in front of us. The opportunity to shape change, rather than be shaped by it. And we can shape change more effectively if we seek to you knowing people on that journey of change.”

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