Turnbull urged to quit after ‘Brexiting’ himself
AUSTRALIA’S opposition Labor Party urged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to resign yesterday, calling him the “David Cameron of the southern hemisphere” after he failed to secure an emphatic election victory.
Millionaire former banker Turnbull took the country to the ballot boxes on July 2, but his Liberal/National Party coalition has so far failed to win enough seats to form government.
Labor leader Bill Shorten, whose party appears to have gained seats in the 150-member parliament but also fallen short of the 76 needed to govern, said Mr Turnbull had to go.
“This is farcical. Mr Turnbull clearly doesn’t know what he is doing. Quite frankly, I think he should quit,” Mr Shorten said.
“He has taken this nation to an election on the basis of stability; he has delivered instability.”
He said Mr Turnbull’s decision to put every seat in the upper house Senate up for grabs in a so-called double dissolution election rather than have the usual half-Senate vote had “made a bad situation worse”.
“He Brexited himself. This guy is like [the] David Cameron of the southern hemisphere,” the Labor leader said.
Britain’s Mr Cameron called a referendum on whether the country should stay in the EU and led the “Remain” campaign. He announced he was quitting after the nation voted to leave.
Mr Turnbull is the country’s fourth leader since 2013 after he ousted fellow Liberal Tony Abbott as prime minister in a party coup last September. He called elections early hoping to shore up support for his ruling coalition.
Final results won’t be known for days, if not weeks, with millions of postal and absentee votes still to be processed, which could prove crucial in a race too close to call.
The anti-immigration One Nation party of Pauline Hanson, who once claimed Asians were in danger of swamping the country, looks set to win multiple Senate seats.
“How on earth did Mr Turnbull think that an idea of reform could end up with two or three from One Nation in the Senate?” Mr Shorten asked.
The vote count in Australia is due to resume today, with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporting that the government has 68 seats to Labor’s 67 with five minor players and 10 in doubt.
So far Mr Turnbull’s LiberalNational coalition has won 68 seats to Labor’s 67 while the Greens have one and independents four.
That leaves 10 seats undecided with 76 needed to rule outright in the 150-seat House of Representatives, raising the prospect of a second hung parliament in three years, where neither side can form a majority government. –
Labor Party leader Bill Shorten with his wife Chloe (left) vote in Melbourne, and Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull votes with his wife Lucy (right) in Sydney, all on July 2. Mr Shorten wants Mr Turnbull to quit.