Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Australia’s new leader may have to be sworn in as acting PM amid complex result

Anthony Albanese vowed to bring Australians together (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP)
Anthony Albanese vowed to bring Australians together (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP)

Australians awoke on Sunday to a new prime minister in Anthony Albanese, the centre-left Labour Party leader whose ascension to the nation’s top job from being raised in social housing by a single mother on a disability pension was said to reflect the country’s changed fabric.

The 59-year-old career politician, who has described himself as the only candidate with a “non-Anglo Celtic name” to run for prime minister in the 121 years the office has existed, referred to his humble upbringing in the inner-Sydney suburb of Camperdown while thanking electors for making him the country’s 31st leader.

“It says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mum who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown, can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” Mr Albanese told jubilant supporters after tipping Scott Morrison out of office to end nine years of conservative rule.

Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon walk their dog, Toto, in Sydney
Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon walk their dog, Toto, in Sydney (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP)

“Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars,” he said.

It is unclear whether Mr Albanese’s party could form a majority government or will have to rely on an increased number of independents and minor party lawmakers who won seats in Saturday’s election, in results analysts described as extremely complicated, and which also mirrored the face of modern Australia.

With counting set to continue for many days as postal votes are tallied, one prospect that emerged was that Mr Albanese may need to be sworn in as acting prime minister to attend Tuesday’s Quad summit in Tokyo with US president Joe Biden, Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Mr Albanese with his dog Toto with community members in Sydney
Mr Albanese pledged to increase investment in social services and ‘end the climate wars’ (Dean Lewins/AAP Image via AP)

Mr Biden congratulated Mr Albanese on his election victory in a phone call on Sunday, the White House said, and reaffirmed Washington’s “steadfast commitment to the US/Australia alliance and his intent to work closely with the new government to make it stronger still”.

Australian National University constitutional law expert professor Donald Rothwell said that the country’s governor general, the representative of the country’s ultimate head of state, the Queen, would “only be prepared to swear in Albanese as ‘acting PM’ until such time as the results are much clearer”.

Mr Albanese, speaking to reporters on Sunday morning, merely said he would be among “five people who’ll be sworn in tomorrow (Monday)” before attending the Quad meeting, then returning to Australia on Wednesday when “we’ll get down to business”.

Mr Albanese speaks to supporters at a Labour Party event in Sydney
Mr Albanese speaks to supporters at a Labour Party event in Sydney (Rick Rycroft/AP)

The four colleagues he mentioned included lawmakers set to step into key financial portfolios and his deputy leader.

The election delivered a clear rebuke to Australia’s traditional two-party system, both to Labour and the heavily defeated conservative coalition led by the Liberal Party’s outgoing prime minister Mr Morrison.

The major parties bled votes to fringe parties and independents, including in many seats considered Labour or coalition strongholds.

Analysts described the result as a fierce rejection of Mr Morrison and his team’s handling of many issues in its three-year term, including climate, Covid-19, women’s rights, political integrity and natural disasters such as bushfires and floods.

Mr Albanese vowed to bring Australians together, increase investment in social services and “end the climate wars”.

“It’s something that’s a big moment in my life, but what I want it to be is a big moment for the country,” he said. “I do want to change the country. I want to change the way that politics operates in this country.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]