Anxious wait for Australian election result

Anxious wait for Australian election result

Whatever the outcome of the Australian election its leaders will learn to work with the conditions they have, Prime Minister John Key says.

"What seems pretty clear is that it will either be a minority government or a government with a very small majority," he told reporters today.

"We have operated under those conditions the entire time I have been Prime Minister, and [former Australian Prime Minister] Julia Gillard operated under it."

Mr Key says voters always expect new governments to "get on with it and do a good job", whatever the outcome of elections.

"They will learn to work with the different conditions they have," he said.

Earlier today Mr Key said he hoped Malcolm Turnbull would continue to lead Australia.

"I certainly hope [he wins], I would count on him as a friend and I think he's a good prime minister," Mr Key said.

"Whatever happens, obviously our hope is that the new Australian government will be in a position to drive their economy and deliver the results Australians want."

Mr Key says he always celebrates a strong Australia, because it is New Zealand's largest trading partner.

As Mr Key was speaking, reports from Canberra said Australia faced the prospect of having a Parliament in which neither of the major parties would have enough seats to form a workable government.

The election outcome has come down to 11 seats too close to call.

After a swag of pre-poll votes were added to running totals in 150 lower house seats the coalition and Labor had each won 67 seats, the Greens one and independents four.

In the doubtful seats Labor was leading in six. If it wins them all, the Opposition will have 73 seats to the coalition's 72.

The position could easily be reversed once more pre-polls and postal votes are counted.

A final result may not be known for several days.

The best the Turnbull government can hope for at this stage is 74 seats, two short of an absolute majority.

It would need the support of two independents to govern.

Labor would probably need all four independents if, as it pledged during the election campaign, it refused to enter into any arrangement with the Greens.

Reports say another election also can't be ruled out.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull insists he's determined to unite the country, with the election result still unclear.

His Liberal-National coalition believes it will be able to scrape through a victory and form a majority government, once the final votes are counted next week.

But a hung parliament is still possible.

With more than 77 percent of the votes counted, the ruling Liberal-National coalition and Labor are tied at 67 seats.

If it doesn't make the quota, the Liberals will then need to gain support from minor parties and independents to form a hung parliament -- a somewhat foreign concept to Australian politics.

Labor won't gain enough seats to form a government.

However the party has significantly improved from its 2013 election result of 55 lower house seats, especially in areas like Tasmania and New South Wales.

Results indicate the Australian public voted for a large number of minor parties and independent candidates.

There is speculation Senator Nick Xenophon will be a potential kingmaker after it emerged that his newly established party had snatched the South Australian seat of Mayo -- a previously safe Liberal seat.

Mr Xenophon's party is also predicted to take gain additional upper house seats, especially from the South Australian region.

One Nation, Pauline Hanson's party, has also polled strongly in Queensland. Notorious for her anti-immigration laws in the 1990s, she told Nine Network that early results would likely mean she would secure two spots in the Senate.

More than 10 million people cast their votes yesterday and a further four million are reported to have voted early.

Newshub. / NZN