Scott Morrison concedes defeat, Anthony Albanese to be next prime minister

Scott Morrison has called Anthony Albanese to concede defeat as Labor and the independents make gains on the Coalition.

“Tonight, it’s a night of disappointment for the Liberals and Nationals, but it’s also a time for Coalition and members and supporters all across the country to hold their highs head,” Morrison says.

“We have been a strong government, we have been a good government. Australia is stronger as a result of our effort over these last three terms and I have no doubt under strong leadership of our Coalition… three years from now, I’m looking forward to the return of a Coalition government. Thanks, everyone.”

Anthony Albanese will be sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister after Labor stormed to victory on Saturday night.

“Tonight I have spoken to the leader of the opposition and the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and I’ve congratulated him on his election victory this evening,” he told Liberal Party faithful.

“In this country, at a time like this, when we look around the world, and particularly when we see those in the Ukraine fighting for their very freedom and liberty, I think on a night like tonight, we can reflect on the greatness of our democracy.

“I’ve always believed in Australians and their judgment, and I’ve always been prepared to accept their verdicts.

“And tonight, they have delivered their verdict, and I congratulate Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party, and I wish him and his government all the very best.”

He said he was proud of the condition he was handing the government over in.

“The last two years have been incredibly tough both globally and here, domestically.

“I am still very proud of the government that we led. I think we hand the country over, if that is the end result tonight, in a very good state.

“In particular, in relation to the one thing that we have always talked about as a government, was jobs.”

In his concession speech, Morrison said he would be stepping down as leader of the Liberal Party.

Albanese will become the first Labor PM since Kevin Rudd in 2013.

He would also be the first prime minister to not come from an Anglo-Celtic background, being raised with Italian heritage.

The story of Albanese’s humble upbringing emerged several times over the course of the campaign, appearing to resonate with voters.

Labor campaign spokesman Jason Clare acknowledged that Labor doesn’t often win from opposition.

“It doesn’t happen very often.

“For us, this is an incredibly special moment, that we can feel the weight of responsibility they’re sending on our shoulders,” he said.

Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash said, if the Coalition was indeed out of government, it left in a good position.

“Well, it would appear that we are not going to get over the line tonight, and the voters have sent us a message and we have to go away as a party and analyse what that message is,” she said.

“We were given that honour in 2013 of being elected to government and it is the greatest honour and privilege you will ever have.”

He said on the penultimate day of the campaign he dedicated everything he did for his mother.

“She made the courageous decision in 1963 to keep a child she had out of wedlock,” he said.

“She chose, in order to deal with the pressures that were on a young Catholic woman at that time, in those circumstances, to take my father’s name, and I was raised being told that he had died.

“That’s a tough decision. It says something about the pressure that was placed on women.

“And pressures that are still placed on women, when faced with difficult circumstances.

“So, the fact that – that young kid is now running for prime minister, says a lot about her. And her courage.

“But also says a lot about this country.”