9 Jul 2016

Shorten refuses to concede as Coalition pulls ahead

5:49 pm on 9 July 2016

Australian Election - Opposition leader Bill Shorten is refusing to concede electoral defeat, as the government moves ahead of Labor in key Queensland seats it needs to form majority government.

Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull face off for the top job in Australia.

Bill Shorten (left) has indicated he will not concede until the Coalition officially wins 76 seats. Photo: AFP

The ABC's election computer says the Coalition has won 73 seats and Labor 66, while six remain undecided.

The Liberal National Party has increased its advantage in the seat of Forde, south of Brisbane, and has moved ahead of the ALP in the central Queensland electorates of Capricornia and Flynn.

The ABC is predicting the Coalition will form a minority or majority government.

But Mr Shorten has indicated he will not concede until the Coalition officially wins 76 seats.

"I don't think the AEC has declared at 76 seats has it?" he told ABC News this morning.

Among them is Tasmanian crossbencher Andrew Wilkie, though he has also left the door open on supporting no-confidence motions against the government.

"I will approach everything on its merits and if a Labor Opposition brings a no-confidence motion against Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party ... I will listen to the debate and I will make my decision based on its merits," he said.

Postal votes are also flowing the LNP's way in the Queensland seat of Herbert, although Labor remains ahead.

Counting in the key seats continues today.

Turnbull 'will be hostage to Coalition's right'

Mr Shorten said if Mr Turnbull retained government, he would be beholden to conservative elements of the Coalition.

"There's no doubt that if Malcolm Turnbull scrapes across the line he's going to be hostage to the right wing of his party," he said.

"And [he'll] have to promote more of the Abbott supporters back into his ranks, which will lead to greater division and instability.

"And of course in the Senate we're not clear who's won what. So Mr Turnbull went to the election seeking a mandate for stability and he's given Australia greater instability."

The Australian newspaper has reported Immigration Minister Peter Dutton would be given a full-time role on the national security committee of Cabinet, while ACT Senator Zed Seselja and Victorian MP Michael Sukkar could be promoted to the frontbench.

-ABC

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