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Australia's Opposition Labor Party Concedes Defeat in National Elections


Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten speaks at a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, July 10, 2016.

Australia's opposition Labor party conceded defeat Sunday in national elections, eight days after voting concluded.

Labor party leader Bill Shorten said he was certain Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his coalition government would secure enough seats to retain power.

Shorten said he had called Turnbull to congratulate him.

Turnbull said later his conservative coalition will remain in power for a second three-year term.

As vote counting continues, however, it is not clear whether the coalition will win enough seats to form a majority government, or be forced to ally with independent and minority party lawmakers to form a minority government.

Parties need to hold at least 76 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives in order to form a majority government.

Voting in Australia is compulsory. Australians went to the polls in large numbers more than a week ago in a close federal election shaken by a number of minor parties, including a candidate from the Greens and other independent parties.

While climate change, immigration and education were key issues of the electoral campaign, the economy has been the determining factor of the outcome.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union created great anxiety in Australia, and political leaders put economic security at the heart of their election campaigns.