Australia’s conservative leader Tony Abbott has swept into office today in a landslide election as voters punished the outgoing Labor government for six years of turbulent rule and for failing to maximise the benefits of a now fading mining boom.
Mr Abbott, a former boxer, Rhodes scholar and trainee priest, promised to restore political stability, cut taxes and crack down on asylum seekers arriving by boat.
But it was frustration with Labor’s leadership turmoil that cost the government dearly at the polls.
Labor dumped prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2010 for Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard – only to reinstate Mr Rudd as leader this June in a desperate bid to stay in power.
“This was an election that was lost by the government more than one that was won by the opposition,” former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke told Sky News.
Election officials said with about 65 per cent of the vote counted, Mr Abbott’s Liberal-National Party coalition had won about 54 per cent of the national vote, and projected it would win at least 77 seats in the 150-seat parliament.
Party analysts said Mr Abbott would end up with a majority of about 40 seats, ending the country’s first minority government since the second World War. Labor had relied upon independent and Greens support for the past three years.
The election was been pitched as a choice on who is best to lead the 1.5 trillion Australian dollars (€1.046 trillion) economy as it adjusts to an end to a prolonged mining investment boom, fuelled by China’s demand for its abundant natural resources.
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.