CANBERRA, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has claimed victory in Australia's general election.
Morrison's Liberal National Party (LNP) coalition won a third term in government on Saturday night, defeating the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and its leader Bill Shorten.
Addressing supporters in Sydney, Morrison, who was chosen to succeed Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the LNP and PM in August 2018, said, "I have always believed in miracles."
"And tonight we've been delivered another one."
"Tonight is about every single Australian who depends on their Government to put them first.
"And so, friends, that is exactly what we are going to do. Our government will come together after this fight and we will get back to work."
Every opinion poll projected that Labor would win the election after six years in opposition on the back of strong swings in support towards the party in Queensland and Victoria.
However, the conservative LNP was able to mitigate losses in Victoria, considered the nation's most progressive state, and win Queensland 52-48 on a two-party preferred basis.
The LNP has won at least 74 out of 151 seats in the lower house of Australian parliament, the House of Representatives, and could still win a clear majority of 76.
If it does not win 76 seats in its own right, the LNP will rely on the support of independent candidates to form a minority government as Labor did in 2010.
Speaking in Melbourne, where earlier in the day he said he was "quietly confident" of victory, Shorten conceded defeat and announced he would stand down as leader of the party effective immediately."
"A short while ago, I called Scott Morrison to congratulate him," he said.
"I wished Scott Morrison good fortune and good courage in the service of our great nation.
"We campaigned on a positive vision.
"Labor's next victory will belong to our next leader and I'm confident that victory will come at the next election."