Australian election produces shock cliff-hanger result

Australian election produces shock cliff-hanger result

Australians are facing an anxious wait after one of the longest campaigns in history produced a shock cliff-hanger result.

With no clear winner there's the possibility of a hung Parliament or a minority government.

It's an unexpected result. While the vote was predicted to be tight, we didn't know it would come this close. It will come down to 11 seats, and we'll start getting an idea of the outcome when vote counting continues on Tuesday.

Even if Labor leader Bill Shorten loses, he's won. He's solidified his leadership and proven he can make gains for Labor. However, that won't stop questions about his leadership.

As for his rival, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, his gamble to trigger the double dissolution hasn't paid off and many are asking whether his predecessor, Tony Abbott, could have done better.

Now, just like after any big night, Mr Turnbull has a big hangover, as his coalition barely hangs on.

But Mr Turnbull wasn't afraid to call it last night.

"We can have every confidence we can form a coalition majority government in the next Parliament," he said. But there's doubt he can.

This isn't the sort of party Mr Turnbull wanted. He was after a clear win and his coalition has taken a big hit. He says the Coalition will work to resolve the new Parliament without division or rancour.

At last count, Mr Turnbull's coalition had 68 seats to Labor's 66, but with 11 seats too close to call, a hung Parliament looms. Voters aren't happy.

"I checked out the second time our PM got switched to someone else. I'm just going to leave the country," said one disillusioned member of the public.

Mr Turnbull squared the blame at Labor's Medicare scare campaign and texts sent to voters on polling day.

"It said it came from Medicare - an extraordinary act of dishonesty. No doubt the police will investigate," he said.

Allegations like that couldn't take the shine off rival Mr Shorten's performance. There were other celebrations and victories as the first indigenous woman was elected to the Lower House, and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson made a comeback.

"They see me as a true blue Aussie, someone who really cares about them. That's what I hear all the time, 'Well she's got the guts to say what I'm thinking,'" Ms Hanson said.

With upsets like that and the possibility of a hung Parliament, there's an anxious wait.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is relaxed about the result.

"I don't think Australia have spent a whole lot of time navel-gazing. I think in the end they'll just learn to work with the conditions that they have."