Malcolm Turnbull during the campaign trail.
Malcolm Turnbull during the campaign trail. Cathy Adams

Turnbull will have to wait to be sworn in as Prime Minister

LATEST: PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared victory in the Federal Election, promising to negotiate with Labor to push necessary reforms through parliament.

Speaking at a media conference in Sydney, Mr Turnbull thanked Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for conceding defeat.

"I have to say on a family note when Bill called me I had my granddaughter Isla on my left hip so she was a one year old witness to history," Mr Turnbull said.

"It is vital that this parliament work. It is vital that we work together and as far as we can ensure that we all agree… consistent with our policies that we took to the election."

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove is in France for a Bastille Day celebration, meaning Mr Turnbull will have to wait for his return before being sworn in.

He must also negotiate a Coalition deal with the Nationals before seeking royal assent.

Mr Turnbull said he felt for those Coalition MPs who had lost their seats.

"It is a tough business and I want to acknowledge the hard work they have done and the pain they are going through," he said.

"I want to thank all the people who ran for parliament. All of them, even the ones that we vehemently agree with."

UPDATE: BILL Shorten has conceded Labor's defeat in the Federal Election while calling for a new electronic voting system to make the outcome known sooner.

Mr Shorten told a media conference he had called Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to assure him he would work with the Coalition to push through reforms where the parties shared common ground.

"I have spoken to Mr Turnbull earlier this afternoon to congratulate him and Lucy, and to wish them my very best," he said.

"One thing which unites Mr Turnbull and I is our love of Australia and our huge respect for our democracy.

"Where there is common ground we will try very hard to accomplish it.

"The Australian people expect all sides of politics to work in the national interest - in the interest of the people, not just themselves."

Mr Shorten said the drawn-out vote counting process - which was still ongoing - needed to be reformed.

He said he would write to Mr Turnbull "in a non-partisan spirit" to say Australia was long overdue to be looking at electronic voting.

"We can't afford to have our nation drift for eight days after an election," he said.

"I think we should be able to find out who won and who lost in a quicker time than we've seen."

Mr Shorten said he did not envy Mr Turnbull having to "corral all the various forces in his party" to organise a Coalition agreement with the Nationals before gaining the Governor-General's royal assent.

"I think it's good in our democracy that I can ring up the prime minister and congratulate him," he said.
Counting continues. It is not yet clear whether the Coalition will have the numbers to form a majority government. -


EARLIER: BILL Shorten has conceded defeat more than a week after the 2016 federal election.

Mr Shorten spoke to media in Melbourne where he conceded and made the call for electronic voting to be introduced.

The election was held on July 2 and both major parties had come close to securing a majority in the lower house.

Mr Shorten said he had phoned Malcolm Turnbull, who will now be returned as Australia's Prime Minister, and congratulated him.