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Australia's Conservative government is engulfed in "miracles" re-election

MELBOURNE / SYDNEY (Reuters) – On Sunday, Australia's Conservative Government celebrated its surprise election victory that defied years of unfavorable polls, where US and Israeli leaders welcomed the return of Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the office.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Mrs Jenny, Child Abbey and Lily, after winning the federal 2019 election at Federal Liberal Reception at the Sofitel-Wentworth Hotel in Sydney, Australia, May 18, 2019. AAP Image / Dean Lewins / via REUTERS

Australia's liberal led coalition has won or led 74 seats in its quest for a 76-seat majority, according to the Australian Election Commission, with three-quarters of votes counted.

Opposition Arbetsparti has admitted defeat and Bill Shorten went down as leader.

"Congratulations to Scott on an amazing wine," said US President Donald Trump on Twitter.

The White House said that Trump and Morrison talked over the phone and "promised to continue their close cooperation on common priorities".

Morrison told raucously to stop supporters late Saturday, who had previously seemed to have resigned to defeat, that he had always believed in miracles.

The result made comparisons with Republican trump's victory in 2016, when the realm of condemnation condemned votes to defeat the democratic rival Hillary Clinton by winning the so-called silent majority.

Opinion polls in Australia had all pointed to a Labor victory before Saturday's vote. So strong was the expectation that the government would fall as a betting agency also paid out investments on a Labor working day before the election.

However, Morrison threw himself as a candidate who would work for ambitious voters and the tactic seemed to strike a chord.

A Pentecostalist, Morrison took over as prime minister last year when he appeared as the unexpected winner of the liberal party's infighting, senior partner of the Liberal-national coalition.

It is still unclear whether the coalition can be ruled by a proper majority or will need to negotiate support from independent people, with millions of early casts cast before the election day not yet counted.

Several places in the 151-standing House of Representatives are still too close to calling.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, imprisoned by a fierce independent and greengrocer contestant in his Melbourne voters, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. TV on Sunday Morrison had led with energy and conviction.

"From the moment the starter's gun was fired in this campaign, we knew we were behind, but we also knew we were there," Frydenberg said.

The government invested in a platform of tax cuts and stability, while Labor promised to reduce inequality through tax reform, higher wages, better public infrastructure and faster action against climate change.

Fitch Ratings said in a note that the result would lead to continuity of policy, including the coalition's promise to start delivering budget surpluses the next financial year.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also congratulated Morrison on Sunday.

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"I know that under your leadership the great friendship between Australia and Israel will grow even stronger," Netanyahu said on Twitter.

Australia formally recognized Western Jerusalem as Israel's capital at the end of last year, which turned decades of Middle Eastern policy and followed Trump's decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

Morrison, who was widely criticized for the decision, said that Australia would not move its embassy to Jerusalem immediately.

Reporting of Lidia Kelly in MELBOURNE and Jonathan Barrett in SYDNEY; Further reporting by Steve Holland and Timothy Gardner in WASHINGTON and Ari Rabinovitch in JERUSALEM; Editing by Paul Tait

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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