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Turnbull's conservatives claim victory in tight Australia elections

July 10,2016 23:10

CANBERRA, Australia — Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared victory Sunday, a week after cliffhanger elections were held, leaving his conservatives with a fragile grip on power amid voter angst as Australia's long resources-boom draws to an end.



CANBERRA, Australia — Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared victory Sunday, a week after cliffhanger elections were held, leaving his conservatives with a fragile grip on power amid voter angst as Australia’s long resources-boom draws to an end. Turnbull, a wealthy former investment banker, gambled on an early election as he sought a mandate for his government after ousting the unpopular Tony Abbott as leader of the ruling Liberal-National coalition 10 months ago. It didn’t turn out that way, and he now faces challenges on multiple fronts, including rebuilding confidence in his leadership and pushing legislation aimed at tackling rising debt through a restive upper house Senate. Australia also remains vulnerable to external shocks such as an economic slowdown in China, which takes around a quarter of its exports. “This is a great day,” Turnbull told reporters. “It is a great day to thank the Australian people for the decisions they have taken in this election and to commit to them anew our absolutely unrelenting determination to ensure that this Parliament delivers good government, wise legislation and builds on the strengths of our economy.” Preliminary vote counting suggests Turnbull’s conservative Liberal-National coalition has won at least 74 seats in the 150-seat lower house following a July 2 poll. A handful of seats remain too close to call, but Turnbull is expected either to be able to form a narrow majority or one that relies on support from a trio of independent lawmakers. An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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