Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison conceded defeat following the country’s federal election on Saturday and called Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese to congratulate him on his victory. The prime minister admitted in a televised speech from the Liberal headquarters in Sydney, adding that he would step down as party leader.

“On a night like this it is appropriate to recognize the functioning of our democracy. I have always believed in the Australians and their judgment, and I have always been prepared to accept their verdicts, and tonight they have delivered their verdict.Morrison said.

The Liberal Party lost more than 12 seats during the elections. While the vote count had not been completed at the time of Morrison’s concession speech, victory for the Labor Party seemed certain, winning at least 72 of the 151 seats in parliament. Morrison’s Liberals got just 54, while the independents and third parties, led by the Greens, who posted their best election results yet, have garnered 11 so far, according to ABC. Labor needs 76 seats to form a majority government.

Morrison, who served only one term in office, was not the only prominent Liberal to lose the election. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, seen as Morrison’s most likely successor, was also removed from his post.

Morrison’s Conservative government had been widely criticized before the election for what many saw as abysmally poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and natural disasters, specifically the devastating fires that preceded the coronavirus outbreak.

Albanese thanked his constituents for “vote[ing] To change”, making several policy points in his victory speech with promises of “end climate wars,” throw a “national anti-corruption commission”, strengthen the country’s health care and elderly care, and make Australia a “renewable energy superpower.His victory is Labour’s first victory since 2007.

Categorized in: