‘Grateful’ Morrison emerges after ‘miracle’ election win
Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked his constituents this morning after leading the Coalition to a stunning election victory.
Speaking outside the Horizon Church in Sutherland with his wife Jenny, Mr Morrison said he was grateful for the support of his constituents.
"I just wanted to say very quickly thanks again to all Australians all around the country but I particularly want to thank here in my local community in southern Sydney all the great people in Sutherland Shire," he said.
"They have stayed with me ever since I was first elected to parliament here in 2007. This is our home and we just want to thank them very much for the privilege and opportunity to continue to serve them locally as the member for Cook.
"You don't get to be a prime minister and have served in that capacity unless you're first a member for your local electorate."
Asked what he was thankful for before heading into the church service, Mr Morrison said: "I give thanks to live in the greatest country in all the world."
Mr Morrison did not confirm whether he would make it to this afternoon's NRL game, only saying: "Go Sharkies".
Mr Morrison will lead Australia for another three years with the Coalition pulling off a miracle federal election victory.
Ahead of polling day, Labor was predicted to narrowly defeat the Coalition after consistently leading in the polls following the Liberal leadership spill.
But just nine months after being catapulted to the top job, Mr Morrison has been re-elected, meaning he will serve as Prime Minister for a longer period than Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Tony Abbott or Malcolm Turnbull.
Walking into Liberal Party HQ at the Sofitel in Sydney last night, where cheers of "ScoMo" filled the room, the Prime Minister made his way through the electric crowd, greeting NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former prime minister John Howard on the way.
As he claimed an election victory, he triumphantly declared he has always believed in miracles.
"I have always believed in miracles," Mr Morrison said.
"How good is Australia? And how good are Australians? This is, this is, the best country in the world in which to live.
"And it's those Australians that we have been working for the last five-and-a-half years, since we came to Government, under Tony Abbott's leadership back in 2013.
"It has been those Australians who have worked hard every day, they have their dreams, they have their aspirations, to get a job, to get an apprenticeship, to start a business, to meet someone amazing.
"To start a family, to buy a home, to work hard and provide the best you can for your kids. To save your retirement. And to ensure that when you're in your retirement, that you can enjoy it because you've worked hard for it.
"These are the quiet Australians who have won a great victory tonight!"
The Coalition entered the election without a majority after boundary changes and resignations robbed the Coalition of seats.
But strong swings in Queensland and Tasmania appear to have delivered a victory for the Morrison Government securing 74 seats compared to Labor's 66 four hours after polls closed.
Crossbenchers were expected to pick up six seats while five were too close to call.
In a humiliating blow, former prime minister Tony Abbott was dumped by voters in his Sydney seat of Warringah, bringing to an end his 25-year political career.
But a strong swing towards the Coalition in Queensland saved Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton who was under threat in his marginal seat of Dickson.
More than 16 million voters were expected to cast a ballot in the federal election with a record 4.5 million people choosing to vote ahead of polling day.
The 2017 same-sex marriage plebiscite also boosted the youth enrolment rate with a record 1.69 million voters aged between 18 and 24 voting.
Last night the former prime minister John Howard compared Labor's loss to that of John Hewson in 1993.
"There was a whiff of 1993 about the last couple of weeks," Mr Howard said.
"One side have been ahead in the polls, the other had gained ground during the campaign. And I did believe very strongly that Bill Shorten had overplayed his hand on the class warfare."
Earlier in the day, the two leaders spent the final hours of the campaign trying to lock in votes in their home states.
After a flying trip to northern Tasmania, where the Coalition was targeting the seats of Bass and Braddon, Mr Morrison jetted back to Sydney to vote with his wife Jen in his home seat of Cook. Mr Morrison said he was energised by the five-week election campaign.
Mr Shorten started the day in his inner northwestern Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds voting alongside wife Chloe at a local primary school.
Mr Shorten who is unlikely to stay on as Opposition leader said he was confident Labor could win enough seats to form government.
"We'll be ready to start straight away, and we'll start straight away," Mr Shorten vowed.
In a bold move, the Labor leader campaigned in the Victorian seats of Deakin and Higgins, which was held by retiring Liberal minister Kelly O'Dwyer by a margin of 7.4 per cent.