Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he takes full responsibility for the Coalition’s lacklustre election campaign and has accused Labor of “cynically abusing the trust” of voters over healthcare.
“I want to make it quite clear that as Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, I take full responsibility for our campaign,” Mr Turnbull told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
“There is no doubt that there is a level of disillusionment with politics, with government, and with the major parties.
“There is no doubt that Labor cynically abused the trust of Australians by lying to them about this.”
The Prime Minister said he is more confident than he was 48 hours ago that the Coalition would form a majority government.
He said the Coalition needs to rebuild public faith in its commitment to public healthcare and he remained coy about details of discussions with crossbenchers.
Mr Turnbull said the government would have to do more to reaffirm the people’s faith in the Coalition’s commitment to health and to Medicare.
The prime minister said he remained confident the Coalition could secure a majority in the new parliament.
There were other issues relating to general distrust or sense of disenfranchisement from government.
“We will work harder, much harder, to again ensure that Australians understand our very deep commitment to them,” Mr Turnbull said.
“It’s about their dreams, their aspirations, their families, their sense of security, their anxieties about the future, about government services, whether they can keep their job, whether they will get a better job and so forth.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is confident “but not cocky” the Coalition will form government in the coming days or weeks.
“To be here with the prime minister today is a clear statement to the Australian people that we accept the result of the ballot box and we acknowledge that there is work to do,” he said.
Watch the full press conference:
— ABC News (@abcnews) July 5, 2016
Shorten: ‘We don’t want snap election’
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten claimed Me Turnbull was considering calling a snap election to sort out his problems.
Mr Shorten said the prime minister needed to concentrate on making the 45th Parliament work by putting the nation first, not himself.
He also said Labor was not interested in a snap vote.
“There is a very real chance that Malcolm Turnbull is considering calling a snap election in the mistaken belief that this will sort out his own problems,” he told reporters in Brisbane.
Asked what evidence he had for suggesting there would be another election, Mr Shorten said only that the prime minister had promised stability and justified the election by changing the Senate voting rules.
“What he’s done is given a very unpredictable Senate … we have extreme parties now in the Senate and this is leading to instability.”
He also pointed to what he said was instability in the ranks of the Liberal Party.
“Mr Turnbull may be tempted to say this is all too hard and he will go to an early election and put himself first but not the nation,” Mr Shorten said.
– with ABC and AAP