With almost 10 million votes counted, Australia's political parties are in a near dead-lock, and may have to wait several days before declaring a winner in the country's parliamentary elections. Diane Hodges reports.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**Broadcasters: NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND / PAPUA NEW GUINEA Digital: NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-BASED INTERNET SITES, MOBILE PLATFORMS OR SITES OF MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS BASED IN THOSE COUNTRIES, NVO CLIENTS/ SMH.COM.AU/NEWS.COM.AU *~ STORY: It could be days before a winner can be declared in Australia's parliamentary elections. The tight vote is a major blow for the Liberal-led coalition government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. He had called the elections in May in hopes of ousting independents who were blocking passage of his economic program. Australia now appears to be headed for a hung parliament or a minority government. Either of which would be a defeat for Turnbull, according to the leader of the opposition Labor Party, Bill Shorten. (SOUNDBITE) BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE LABOR PARTY, SAYING: "You should have great pride in what we have accomplished and Mr. Turnbull's economic program, such as it was, has been rejected by the people of Australia. They have lost their mandate." Turnbull had said a vote for the coalition was a vote for political stability, invoking the global economic and political fallout from Britain's decision to leave the European Union. The country's leaders will find out how effective that appeal was when vote counting resumes on Monday.