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Bill Shorten Concedes Defeat And Steps Aside As Leader


AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Bill Shorten has conceded defeat on Saturday evening and has fallen on his sword, confirming he will not stay on as Labor leader.  

After phoning Scott Morrison to officially declare that he no longer felt like Labor could get across the line, he took to the stage at the Labor function in Melbourne.  

He addressed Labor supporters nationwide saying that he knew they were hurting and he was too.  

"And without wanting to hold any false hope, while there are still millions of votes to count and important seats to be finalised, it is obvious that Labor will not be able to form the next Government and so, in the National interest, a short while ago I called Scott Morrison to congratulate him" he said.  

He labelled this a "tough"campaign, "toxic" at times.  

Mr Shorten also said that "now that the contest is over, all of us have a responsibility to respect the result, respect the wishes of the Australian people and to bring our nation together".

He has also fallen on his sword, declaring that although he will stay on in his seat, he will not be a candidate in the next Labor leadership ballot.  

Mr Shorten served as Labor leader for 5 1/2 years.  He told supporters that he wished they could have "claimed a win for Bob [Hawke]".  

He also said he is confident that Labor can claim victory at the next election.  

Mr Shorten said he still remains concerned about climate change.  

Scott Morrison is expected to deliver his victory speech at the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney shortly, a moment all of the pollsters predicted would never happen.  

He arrived at the Liberal function in Sydney earlier on Saturday night, but didn't make an immediate appearance, waiting for that all important phone call from Mr Shorten.  

Earlier John Howard said said the Coalition had won the election but admitted he was surprised and disappointed that Tony Abbott had lost his seat of Warringah.

Mr Howard handed out flyers for Mr Abbott for a couple of hours on Saturday.  

The ABC is reporting that the LNP has secured 74 seats, Labor 65, the Greens one, other five and six remain undecided.

The LNP will need to win 76 to govern in its own right.  

By Michelle Price