Anthony Albanese is set to become Australia's 31st prime minister after Scott Morrison conceded defeat at the federal election.
Labor is able to form either a minority or majority government, meaning Albanese will be Australia’s 31st Prime Minister.
The result will be a harsh blow for Scott Morrison, who was the first person to hold onto the role for a full term since 2007.
Morrison told supporters in Sydney on Saturday night he had spoken to Mr Albanese and congratulated him on his election win.
"In this country, at a time like this, when we look around the world, and particularly when we see those in the Ukraine fighting for their very freedom and liberty, I think on a night like tonight we can reflect on the greatness of our democracy," he said.
"It is proper to acknowledge the functioning of our democracy. I've always believed in Australians and their judgment and I've always been prepared to accept their verdicts and tonight they have delivered their verdict, and I congratulate Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party and I wish him and his government all the very best."
With 40 per cent of the vote counted, the coalition was on 35 per cent of the primary vote to Labor's 32 per cent.
However in a minority government scenario, Albanese would likely the need the support of independent candidates who’ve managed to secure swing seats like Goldstein, in Melbourne’s south-east.
The independents, or ‘teals’, have also made big ground in Mackellar, which was once Liberal heartland in Sydney’s northern beaches.
Opposition leader Albanese’s centre-left Labor Party was a favourite to win its first election since 2007.
But Morrison defied the opinion polls in 2019 by leading his coalition to a narrow victory.
Labor is promising more spending on care for children and the elderly. The coalition is promising better economic management as Australia’s deficit soars because of the pandemic.
Morrison said if re-elected, his government would deliver lower taxes as well as downward pressure on interest rates and costs of living.
“It’s a choice about who can best manage our economy and our finances because a strong economy is what guarantees your future,” Morrison said.
Both leaders campaigned in Melbourne on Saturday morning, before voting in their hometown of Sydney.
The first polling stations closed on the country’s east coast at 6pm (local time). The west coast is two hours behind.
Due to the pandemic, around half of Australia’s 17 million electors have voted early or applied for postal votes, which will likely slow the count.
Voting is compulsory for adult citizens and 92% of registered voters cast ballots in the last election.