Labor supporters are growing increasingly confident the party will be able to form Australia’s next government, but it remains to be seen whether it would be in their own right.
As ballots continue to be counted across the country, Labor is looking on track to form at least a minority government, with a chance it could reach the necessary 76 seats for a majority.
At Labor’s official election function at the Canterbury-Hurlstone RSL in Sydney’s inner-west, there were raucous cheers when it was predicted the government would not be able to retain a majority government.
Labor has made up ground in Victoria and NSW, looking on track to win the Sydney seats of Reid and Bennelong as well as Melbourne electorates in Deakin, Chisholm and Higgins.
Early results from South Australia also show Labor taking Boothby, which would be the first time the party has taken the electorate, as well as gains in nearby Sturt.
However, the opposition may have lost some of its Queensland seats to the Greens.
Labor’s Kristina Keneally is also in danger of being kicked out of parliament, after she was parachuted into the seat of Fowler.
The former senator is facing a significant challenge from independent Dai Le, who is looking on track to win the normally safe Labor seat.
The Australian Electoral Commission also listed Labor incumbents behind in Gilmore and Lyons.
But one of the biggest developments of the night could see Labor take the Queensland seat of Dickson away from Defence Minister Peter Dutton, which elicited some of the loudest cheers from the almost 1000-strong crowd.
Optimism is growing within the Labor camp it would at least get into a position to form a minority government, with the crossbench set to expand significantly in the next term of parliament.
Party supporters have said the results were already better than it 2019 defeat.
“This is the campaign we should have run last time,” one person said.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will be watching the vote count from his home in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner-west.
He will then attend the RSL club later in the night.
He would be just the fourth Labor leader to lead the party to victory from opposition since World War II.
While the opposition leader has always acknowledged winning the election would require a herculean effort, he has maintained Australia is ready for a change of government.
“The way you change the country is to change the government,” he said on Saturday to reporters in Sydney.