Australia PM takes ‘full responsibility’ for poll debacle

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SYDNEY: Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull took full responsibility on Tuesday for a disastrous election campaign which has left his government in doubt, but said he would not resign. The final result from Saturday polls is still unclear, but Turnbull’s conservative coalition has lost its comfortable majority in Canberra’s 150-seat House of Representatives. The government and the opposition Labor Party are currently each short of the 76 seats needed to govern, and with the vote count ongoing, there is the prospect of a hung parliament. “I want to make it quite clear that as prime minister and leader of the Liberal Party, I take full responsibility for our campaign,” Turnbull told reporters in Sydney. “The Australian people have voted, and we respect the result.” In sharp contrast to an angry speech in the hours after the vote, he acknowledged there was a swing against his Liberal/National coalition, but said general voter dissatisfaction also played a part. Millions of Australians cast their votes for independents and minor parties, resulting in them likely winning at least five seats in the lower house.

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