Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has claimed victory in the federal elections as counting of votes nears an end on 10 July. Earlier, opposition leader Bill Shorten accepted defeat and said he respected that Turnbull has a mandate to pursue policies and congratulated him on the win.
At a press conference in Sydney, the prime minister said, "This is a great day today. We have resolved this election and have done so peacefully. It's something we should celebrate and not take for granted."
The Liberal-National coalition garnered 74 seats while Labour managed to win 66 and counting was underway for five seats. The coalition is confident that it could win 77 seats.
Shorten said that while counting is still on, it was clear that Turnbull will form either a majority or minority government. "I respect that Mr Turnbull has won government - be it a minority government or a majority of one or two. I believe that the government has won the election absolutely," he said.
He added that his party was willing to work and find a common ground with the government and Australians deserved 'nothing less'. "I understand we need to make this parliament function and we'll be up for that. I hope for the nation's sake that the Coalition does a good job," the opposition leader said.
Turnbull in response said that he welcomed the opposition leader's offer to find a common ground. "We need goodwill in this new parliament," he said.
Earlier, Shorten had written to the PM for an investigation into electronic voting because of the time it took for the Australian Electoral Commission to declare the results.
"We're a grown up democracy, it shouldn't take eight days to find out who's won," he said.