Labor still short of a majority as Anthony Albanese has 'friendly' talks with Boris Johnson

The new prime minister is en route to Tokyo, where he will talk at the Quad meeting about his government's ambitions to tackle climate change and pursue a stronger foreign policy focus in the region.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese boards the plane to Japan to attend the Quad leaders meeting in Tokyo.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese boards the plane to Japan to attend the Quad leaders meeting in Tokyo. Source: AAP / LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

Anthony Albanese wasted little time after being sworn in as prime minister on Monday morning, jetting off to Tokyo for the Quad security talks and speaking to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson mid-flight.

According to an Australian briefing on the 25-minute phone call, the pair had “friendly and very positive discussions” and the main topics on the agenda were the AUKUS deal and climate change.
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Downing Street said the prime minister had "fulsomely" congratulated Mr Albanese on his victory during a phone call on Monday morning.

Australia signed a trilateral military deal with Britain and the US last year in an agreement that will see the two partners help Canberra to develop its own nuclear-powered submarines.

The allies also announced in April that they had agreed to work together on hypersonic and anti-hypersonic weaponry.

Mr Johnson said he felt the relationship could be strengthened "even further" as both leaders heralded the "exciting opportunities" presented by AUKUS.

"The pair agreed that there was more that could be done together," the Downing Street spokeswoman said.

"Both leaders agreed that there was strong alignment between their governments' joint agendas, spanning across global security, climate change and trade."
In a tweet about the conversation, Mr Albanese said he had "affirmed the strength of Australia's close relationship with the United Kingdom" to Mr Johnson.

"We discussed our shared commitment to AUKUS and to acting on the challenge of climate change," the Australian leader said.

On Tuesday Mr Albanese will take part in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue in Tokyo with US President Joe Biden, host leader and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The talks are expected to include diplomatic discussions on stability in the Indo-Pacific in the face of China’s territorial aggression, the Solomon Islands security pact with Beijing and climate policy.

The fresh prime minister remains hopeful of forming a majority government to lead the nation, but says key crossbench members have promised to back its legitimacy.

AEC says Labor short of a majority

Labor appears on track to govern in its own right, with the party one seat short of a majority as vote counting continues.

At 7.30pm on Monday, official figures from the Australian Electoral Commission had Labor on 75 seats in the House of Representatives — one short of a majority in the 151-seat chamber.

The Liberal-National coalition was holding 59 seats.

Ten independents were on track for victory, joined on the cross bench by Mayo MP Rebekha Sharkie from the Centre Alliance, Greens leader Adam Bandt and veteran Kennedy MP Bob Katter.

The AEC listed six seats with less than 1,000 votes between the top two contenders: Deakin, Ryan, Gilmore, Grey, Lyons and Sturt.

In the tightest race, outgoing Liberal minister Michael Sukkar was ahead of Labor's Matt Gregg by 55 votes in the Victorian seat of Deakin.

Five seats had no two-candidate preferred results available.
The AEC listed 14 lower house crossbenchers.

Labor picked up 52.3 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

Incumbent MPs were trailing in 19 seats: Swan, Pearce, Tangney, Hasluck, Curtin (WA), Chisholm, Higgins, Kooyong, Goldstein, Deakin (Victoria), Wentworth, Gilmore, Reid, North Sydney, Robertson, Mackellar, Fowler and Bennelong (NSW), Boothby and Grey (SA).

The Senate results are yet to be finalised, but the coalition is on track to hold 30 seats and Labor 25 in the 76-seat chamber from 1 July

The coalition appeared on track to lose Senate seats in WA, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, while Labor could pick up seats in Queensland and WA.

Josh Frydenberg concedes in Kooyong

Outgoing treasurer Josh Frydenberg has officially conceded to Dr Monique Ryan in Kooyong.

Mr Frydenberg issued a statement on Monday afternoon, saying: "It's been an incredible privilege to have served as the local member for the last 12 years."
"Every day, I have given the job my all."

"I want to thank everyone who I have had the pleasure to work with locally. It has been quite a journey. Their support and friendship has been extraordinary and deeply appreciated."

Dave Sharma concedes in Wentworth

Dave Sharma has conceded defeat, congratulating independent Allegra Spender on winning the highly-contested seat of Wentworth.

Mr Sharma issued a statement on Monday morning, saying while there are still some 40,000 votes still to be counted, he expected Ms Spender's current lead would not change markedly.

"It has been a privilege to serve the people of Wentworth these past three years as their federal Member of Parliament, and I wish to thank the people of Wentworth for the opportunity to do so," he said.

Mr Sharma said at a national level, he was glad to have played a part in Australia adopting a net-zero emissions target by 2050, facilitating the AUKUS arrangement, supporting the ratification of free trade agreements, and helping shape policy responses to China.
"I put myself forward for elected office, after a career of public service, because I believe passionately in Australia and all that we stand for, and because I am committed to making us a better nation in every respect. That commitment and that belief remains undiminished."

"Australia today faces a more challenging global outlook than we have seen for several generations, and in the face of such challenges the quality of our political and national leadership will matter greatly. Myopia and complacency in our national political discourse are luxuries we can no longer afford."

Pauline Hanson fighting to hold onto Senate seat

As counting continues, One Nation founder Pauline Hanson could cling onto her seat in the Senate.

After a major swing to the Greens in Queensland, early counting appeared to indicate Ms Hanson would lose her seat, with the party polling just 7.8 per cent of the state's Senate vote.

But while she fell short of winning the seat in her own right, as the count currently stands it appears she will benefit from other minor party preferences.
Ms Hanson spent election day isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. She has not been vaccinated.

Liberals weigh up options for party leader

Earlier on Monday morning, Tasmanian Liberal Bridget Archer said she would consider putting her hand up as deputy leader to keep the party from moving further to the right, amid speculation Peter Dutton will become leader.

Ms Archer, first elected in 2019 and expected to retain her ultra marginal seat of Bass, told ABC's RN Breakfast she backed "traditional values".
Close up of Bridget Archer speaking to reporters
Liberal member for Bass Bridget Archer at a press conference during the 2022 federal election campaign, in Mowbray Tasmania. Source: AAP / MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE
When asked if she would consider a tilt at the deputy spot, she said "potentially".

"I've seen some early commentary around some idea that the party should move further to the right and I will certainly resist all efforts for that to occur," she said.

"We need to bring the party back to the centre."
Mr Dutton is widely expected to become the opposition leader although other names have been floated, including ex-home affairs minister and Queenslander Karen Andrews and former trade minister and Victorian Dan Tehan.

Former environment minister Sussan Ley has been floated as a potential deputy leader.

-With AAP

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Published 23 May 2022 at 12:46pm, updated 24 May 2022 at 6:33am
Source: SBS News