Australian elections: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is ousted from power

Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison was ousted from power in Saturday’s legislative election in Australia, the results of which reflect strong voter rejection of his lack of action on climate change.

According to projections published by the ABC channel after counting half the votes, Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party won the largest number of deputies in the House of Representatives.

But with only 72 seats secured so far, he is not yet certain to win the absolute majority of the 76 representatives needed to form a government without having to seek an ally.

“Tonight I spoke with the Leader of the Opposition and the new Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, and I congratulated him on his electoral victory,” however, Mr. Morrison declared, acknowledging his defeat.

Australian elections: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is ousted from power

Approximately 17.2 million voters were called to choose 151 seats in the House of Representatives for a three-year term. Forty of the 76 Senate seats were also renewed within six years.

After three years marked by major natural disasters and pandemics, Australians have voted in an extraordinary number of “small” pro-environment candidates who can hold keys to power.

The recognized “teals”

The Green Party and independent candidates dubbed “teals” – mostly highly qualified women advocating for environmental protection, gender equality and the fight against corruption – are already on their way to conquering a series of constituencies in urban traditionally granted to Conservatives.

“People said the climate crisis was something they wanted to do,” cheered Adam Bandt, leader of the Green Party.

“We have only had a drought for three years, then fires and now floods and more floods. People see it, it’s happening, it’s getting worse, ”he added.

The defeat of Mr. Morrison ended nine years of Tory’s rule on the country’s large continent.

The electoral campaign focused on MM’s personalities. Morrison and Albanese, the candidates of traditional parties, bringing political ideas back into the background.

But young Australians are increasingly angry about the government’s coal-fired policies, the difficulty in finding affordable housing and the misuse of public money.

“I grew up in a community that has been severely affected by fires and floods over the past five years,” said Jordan Neville, who voted for the first time, at a polling station in Melbourne. “If anything could be done to prevent this from happening again, that would be amazing.”

Mr Morrison has resisted calls to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions faster by 2030, and wholeheartedly supports the coal industry, one of the driving forces of the country’s economy.

In chasing the polls for a year, he took advantage of the economic recovery and the unemployment rate that is currently at its lowest in 48 years. He described his rival in Labor as an ‘independent spirit’ unfit to run the economy. But he suffered from low personal fame and accusations of dishonesty.

On Saturday, Mr Albanese asked voters to give his left party a “chance” to lead the country, and urged the people to reject a “divisive” prime minister.

The Labor leader-who himself has been described as cheap and uninspired-has focused the last days of the campaign on Mr Morrison’s alleged failures.

“Australians want someone who is fair, someone who will admit their mistakes,” he said.

He vowed to end Australia’s lag in tackling climate change, help people faced with rising prices and strengthen indigenous participation in shaping national policy.

He may now need to make agreements to manage candidates demanding more stringent climate action, which threatens the anger of pro-coal and mining union factions in his party.

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