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Eleven seats still in doubt after election

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/07/2016

Australia faces the prospect of having a parliament in which neither of the major parties will have enough seats to form a workable government.

The outcome of Saturday's federal election has come down to 11 seats too close to call.

After a swag of pre-poll votes were added to running totals in 150 lower house seats in the early hours of Sunday morning, the coalition and Labor had each won 67 seats, the Greens one and independents four.

In the doubtful seats Labor leads in six. If it wins them all, the opposition will have 73 seats to the coalition's 72.

The position could easily be reversed once more pre-polls and postal votes are counted.

A final result may not be known until well into next week.

The best the Turnbull government can hope for at this stage is 74 seats, two short of an absolute majority.

It would need the support of two independents to govern.

Labor would probably need all four independents if, as it pledged during the election campaign, it refused to enter into any arrangement with the Greens.

Another election also cannot be ruled out.

With 10 million two-party preferred votes counted, the coalition has won 50.11 per cent to Labor's 49.89.

That's a swing of 3.4 per cent against the coalition on the 2013 election.

Early on Sunday morning, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told the party faithful he expected the coalition could form a majority government.

However, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten was not giving up on forming government, telling his supporters Mr Turnbull had "failed miserably".

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