23 August 2010
Australia House and other overseas federal election votes still to be counted
Saturday’s Australian Federal Election has left the Labor Party with 72 seats and the Liberal-National Coalition with 70 seats – well short of the 76 seats needed to form a government.
Julia Gillard, the current Labor prime minister, and Tony Abbott, leader of the opposition are currently trying to win over the support of the three new independent MPs and one Green Party MP in order to make a government but it could be up to 10 days before a final result is known and all overseas votes and postal votes are counted.
If neither the Labor nor Liberal Government can make working arrangements with the independents or Greens then the country may have to go straight back to the polls.
The Australian Electoral Commission has reported that 1.8 million votes have been cast via post or in pre-polling overseas centers. Australia House London, the home of the Australian High Commission, is one of the largest overseas polling locations with up to 200,000 Australians living in the city.
Over the next week the Australian Electoral Commission will concentrate on counting and scrutinising these votes, which includes around one million postal votes that can be received up to thirteen days after election day.