Bill Shorten declares loss in Australian election

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed Bill Shorten's calls to make parliament function properly (AAP)
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed Bill Shorten's calls to make parliament function properly (AAP)

Malcolm Turnbull has claimed victory in his attempt to retain the role as Prime Minister of Australia - more than a week on from voting booths opening.

He declared to reporters in Sydney that his Liberal Party had "resolved this election", and gave his condolences to the MPs who had lost their seats in parliament.

Mr Turnbull also welcomed some of the comments made by his biggest rival, Labor's Bill Shorten, upon his concession of defeat in Melbourne.

Mr Shorten earlier spoke boldly of the need to "make parliament function" - a responsibility he says his party "will be up for".

And Mr Turnbull encouraged the remark, saying "it is vital that this parliament works".

"We need to ensure we have a strong economy in the years ahead," he said.

"We need to ensure all the vital government services are provided for and we have to ensure we bring the budget back into balance."

Two hours before Mr Turnbull's announcement, Mr Shorten conceded defeat in the federal election and rang the Liberal leader to congratulate him on victory.

Mr Turnbull said he took the phone call with his granddaughter sitting on his lap.

Over the last few days it has become evident that Mr Turnbull would be able to secure enough seats to govern the nation.

"Whilst counting has not concluded in a number of very close seats, it is clear that Mr Turnbull and his coalition will form a government," he said.

"Today is about Labor recognising that we can't form a government … I have spoken to Mr Turnbull to congratulate him and to wish him my very best."

Mr Shorten also addressed the lengthy election process, saying the counting of votes went "on and on and on".

"It shouldn't be taking eight days to find out who has won and who has lost," he said.

"It's the 21st century [and] we are a leading democracy - we should be able to find out who has won and lost in a quicker time."

He also acknowledged those who had supported him throughout his campaign.

"I want to thank my family and tens of thousands of volunteers who have worked so hard on the Labor campaign," he said

"I am proud that Labor is back and that Labor is united - that Labor has found its voice in this election."

The Coalition has 74 seats, and needs to win two more to secure the majority - a feat they are expected to achieve. Labor currently have 66, and it is believed they will claim three more seats.

Malcolm Turnbull has not yet claimed victory.