News Election 2016 PM calls crossbenchers

PM calls crossbenchers

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Malcolm Turnbull has put on a brave face after a shock election night that places the future of government in the balance.

PM Malcolm Turnbull press conf
PM has been on the phone to canvas support. Photo: AAP

He decided against speaking to media this morning as he left his Point Piper home, instead jumping into his car for meetings at Liberal Party headquarters in the Sydney CBD.

• Election 2016: all the winners and losers
• Shorten may have landed a killer blow

Hanson, Xenophon shake up Senate

In a lunchtime media conference, Mr Turnbull said he was quietly confident the Liberals would form government in their own right, but the fact he spent the morning canvassing independent crossbenchers in the lowewr house, where he requires 76 seats to form government, suggests Mr Turnbull acknowledges the enormity of the battle ahead.

Mr Turnbull has reportedly spoken to Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan, independents who were re-elected with swings towards them in their respective seats.  

Mr Wilkie insists he won’t be doing deals with anyone to form government.

Mr Wilkie told reporters in Hobart there was “no remarkable substance” to recount from the Prime Minister’s phone call, which he believed was more a signal of open channels of communication than anything.

“I went to this election with a position that I would not enter into any form of agreement with any party to allow them to form government and nothing has changed,” he said on Sunday.

andrew wilkie
Andrew Wilkie had little to say about phone call from the PM. Photo: Getty

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has reaffirmed his support for Mr Turnbull, saying the Australian public doesn’t want a revolving door of Prime Ministers.

“I absolutely believe the best person to lead this nation is Malcolm Turnbull,” the Deputy Prime Minister told supporters in Tamworth on Saturday, after declaring victory in his seat of New England.

Mr Joyce is also looking forward to renegotiating the Coalition agreement “quietly and astutely”.

“We’ll do it behind closed doors and will make sure that you people are well looked after as we always do.”

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s children arrived by car to join him for a family breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

He went on Twitter to again acknowledge the support of wife Chloe, her children Rupert and Georgette and their youngest, Clementine.

Mr Shorten shared the picture of his family at breakfast.

“After eight weeks on the road, great to have a late breakfast with the family,” he wrote.

View Comments