The Liberal-National Party won 88 seats whilst Labor were reduced to just 57, with Kevin Rudd stepping down as party leader in the aftermath of the elections.
“From today I declare Australia is under new management and Australia is now open for business,” he said during his victory speech.
“My emphasis will be on being purposeful, methodical, calm and conscientious,” he told a local radio station.
“And the last thing I want to do is rush the parliament back for a photo opportunity before the substance of the work is there for it to do.”
The economy proved to be the main issue for voters who didn’t see Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard’s stewardship during the Global Financial Crisis – Australia was the only developed nation to go into recession – as not up to scratch.
Abbott seized on Labor’s economic record during a short but eventful election campaign.
In the end his plans to abolish the carbon tax, reign in spending and take a hardline with asylum seekers seems to have struck accord with the majority of voters.
Former Labor leader Julia Gillard’s time in office was dogged by party infighting, though she was regarded as effective in parliament and managed to pass a string of reforms without the luxury of a majority in the House of Representatives or Senate.
Abbott was congratulated on his victory by world leaders, with David Cameron ringing him personally.
Despite his party’s control of the House, Abbott will have to contend with a hotch-potch in the Senate to get any of his reforms or repeals through after a complex series of preferences handed likely seats to minor parties without allegiance to either major party.
These parties include the Liberal Democrats, the Motoring Enthusiasts Party and the Australian Sports Party.
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