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John Key hopeful for Turnbull win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/07/2016 Cleo Fraser
John Key © AAP / DAVID MOIR John Key

Prime Minister John Key says he's hopeful Malcolm Turnbull will continue to lead Australia.

"Well it's obviously a very tight election in Australia and we're not in a position to fully understand ultimately what that outcome is," he said on Sunday, with 30 per cent of the votes still to be counted a day after Australians went to the polls.

"I certainly hope [he wins], I would count him as a friend and I think he's a good prime minister but that's for the Australian Liberal Party."

There remains no definitive result but Mr Turnbull has said he's confident of forming a coalition majority government in the next parliament.

"Whatever happens obviously our hope is that the new Australian government will be in a position to drive their economy and to deliver the results that Australians will want," Mr Key said.

He said that was important to the New Zealand economy as Australia was the country's biggest trading partner.

Even if a coalition government wasn't seen to have a clear mandate due to the tight election results "they've got to get on and manage", he said.

"Our margins are always tight and it hasn't ultimately stopped us working with our partners to get out there and deliver a strong performance for New Zealanders," Mr Key said.

"They can sit around all they like and say the mandate or the majority is not as big as they might like but ultimately you've got a job to do in the next three years."

The final results of the Australian election aren't expected until Tuesday.

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