Australian Election Results 2022: We Have a New Prime Minister

Australian Election Results 2022: We Have a New Prime Minister
Labor leader Anthony Albanese Leader (Photo by Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

It’s been a long road to the 2022 democracy sausage, but after six weeks of official campaigning, it’s finally done. So does that mean we have the all-important election results? Yes and no.

While we won’t officially know all the results until every vote has been counted, we’re here to answer any questions you may have about election results in the meantime.

Your guide to Australia’s federal election results

How long does it take to get election results in Australia?

voting australia federal election wasted vote preferences
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Election results in Australia can come as soon as the night of election day to over a week after the polls close. The polls themselves are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on election day, and after this the results can be logged.

According to the Parliament of Australia website:

The result of the election is declared as soon as practicable after it has been ascertained that a candidate has been elected — in some divisions this may be a week or more after the election.

The poll may be declared, notwithstanding that all ballot papers have not been received or inquiries completed, if the Returning Officer is satisfied that the votes recorded on the ballot papers concerned could not possibly affect the result.

This means if the tally is close it could take longer to get a clear result.

On election night, the ABC’s election guru Antony Green declared that Labor’s Anthony Albanese will be Australia’s 31st Prime Minister. However, we’ll still have to wait a bit longer to find out the official number of seats each party has.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has said that it will likely never declare a result on election night itself. What they do provide, however, is an indicative count which can help us understand which direction the vote is heading.

This is often what you’ll see on TV the same night and in the days following the election until everything has been finalised. The AEC has to declare a seat for it to be legal. So nothing goes until the AEC says so.

The ABC also reported that pre-polling is on the rise this year, with 15% of voters requesting a postal vote. Postal votes are counted the day after the election but it can take up to 13 days after election day for them all to be counted.

Given the significant number of postal votes this year, we could be waiting a while for a final result.

What are the election results so far?

election debate Party Leaders Meet For First Debate Ahead Of Australian Election
(Photo by Toby Zerna – Pool/Getty Images)

As we mentioned briefly, the indicative count has given enough information for the election to be called in favour of Labor.

The Australian Labor Party continues to barrel towards the seats needed to form government but it’s too early to tell what that final number will be.

On Saturday night, previous PM Scott Morrison called Anthony Albanese to concede. Morrison also stepped down as the leader of the Liberal National Party.

On the morning of Monday, May 23rd, Albanese was sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister.

Richard Marles will serve as deputy leader and the Minister for Employment. Penny Wong is the new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jim Chalmers will serve as Treasurer and Katy Gallagher will be the Finance Minister.

Elsewhere, the Greens have received a record number of votes and won at least three seats. Party leader Adam Bandt retained his seat in Melbourne but, to the surprise of many, three seats in QLD – Ryan, Griffith and Brisbane – are all swinging in favour of the Greens.

It’s also been a big election for independent candidates.

ABC analyst Antony Green expects North Sydney to go to Kylea Tink over Trent Zimmerman and Goldstein to go to former journalist Zoe Daniel instead of Tim Wilson. Allegra Spender is also ahead of Dave Sharma in Wentworth.

It also seems previous Treasurer Josh Frydenberg may lose his seat to independent Monique Ryan.

Many of these women are also ‘teal independents’, who are political candidates that are focused on climate issues and are backed by the Climate 200 fund.

How are the votes counted?

As the AEC outlined in its recent Reddit AMA, counting the votes is a complicated process.

This video breaks it all down, but basically there are many processes in place to get ballots from polling booths to results.

There are custom made boxes involved with each being securely sealed at every step of the journey, always with witnesses present to ensure there has been no tampering.

Then when it comes to counting, every ballot has to be manually input by a human, twice. Then the papers are scanned by a machine and both results are compared.

If there are any discrepancies the vote is re-examined. Scrutineers are also present during counting and can watch and challenge at any time.

What’s a hung parliament?

To determine the election a party must usually hold the majority of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives. If neither party can reach the required 76 seats, we have what is called a hung parliament.

Remember the 2010 election? That’s what that was all about.

In the case of a hung parliament, the government will usually be left in the hands of a ‘caretaker Prime Minister’. In 2010, that was Julia Guillard.

In the same year, we saw many of the minor independent members gather together to support the Labor party, which gave them the edge they needed to form government.

According to the Parliament of Australia, some conventions are in place in the case of a hung parliament.

Once the election result becomes clear an incumbent Prime Minister must, by convention, resign if another party wins a majority of seats in the House of Representatives. In Australia it appears to be the custom for the resigning Prime Minister to advise the Governor-General to commission the leader of the majority party to form a government.

A secondary convention is that if, after an election, no-one emerges with the confidence of a majority of the House, the incumbent Prime Minister, as the last person to hold a majority, has the right to remain in office and test his or her support on the floor of the House.

There is still a chance we could have a hung parliament in 2022, even with Albanese as Prime Minister.

Where can I see results from election day in Australia?

There are a few ways to follow the election results following democracy sausage day.

The ABC is following the results closely on its Election page online, so that’s a good place to start.

The major news channels are also reporting on election results, so turn on the news on Channel 7, Channel 9, Channel 10 or the ABC and you’ll be able to follow the vote — however long it goes for.

Hopefully, you grabbed yourself a democracy sausage with your vote. While we continue to wait for all the official results, here’s a reminder of all the ins and out of the Australian federal election in 2022, and what the major parties stand for.

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