Conservative leader Abbott wins landslide Australia election victory

Conservative opposition in landslide win in parliamentary poll, ending six turbulent years of Labor rule. AFP
Australia\’s conservative opposition won a resounding victory in national elections, handing the Labor party one of its worst-ever defeats and installing Tony Abbott as the nation\’s prime minister.
Tony Abbott, the leader of the Australian Liberal Party, has promised to deliver a "trustworthy, competent" government, after his party swept to a parliamentary poll win in a nationwide election.
Current Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded defeat to Abbott on on Saturday, saying that he will also step down as leader of his Labor Party.
With 83 percent of the votes counted, the Australian Electoral Commission showed Abbott\’s Liberal/National coalition was leading with 88 seats in the House of Representatives, to Labor\’s 56.
Almost two hours after polls closed on Saturday, Rudd spoke to a crowd of supporters in Brisbane to wish his rival well in the "high strain" lifestyle that comes with the leadership.
"A short time ago I telephoned Tony Abbott to concede defeat at this national election," he told cheering supporters. "As prime minister of Australia, I wish him well in the high office of prime minister of this country."
Announced that he would quit as party leader, he said it was time for a change.
"I will not be recontesting the leadership of the parliamentary Labor Party. The Australian people I believe deserve a fresh start with our leadership."
The victory by Tony Abbott’s opposition Liberal-National coalition ends six-years of Labor Party leadership.
The campaign had been dominated by concerns about the economy, asylum seekers and climate change.
The election was held just three months after Rudd ousted Australia\’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, in a party leadership challenge intended to better position Labor for the national vote.
Unemployment in Australia has been creeping upward, and both parties tried to convince voters that they can guarantee future economic prosperity.
Both candidates had proposed tough immigration policies to discourage asylum seekers from sailing into Australian waters to claim shelter.
Abbott has promised that his government\’s first action will be to repeal an unpopular tax on the country\’s biggest polluters, which he blames for pushing up domestic power bills.
Voting is compulsory in Australia. More than 14 million people are listed on electoral rolls, but authorities estimate about a half-million 18- to 24-year-old Australians have never registered to vote, suggesting widespread apathy among young people about domestic politics.
Source: Agencies
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