Australia's Malcolm Turnbull edges closer to majority government

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (L) and Liberal candidate for the federal seat of Chisholm Julia Banks greet locals during a street walk in Oakleigh, in Melbourne's southeastern suburbs, July 8, 2016.

The main opposition Labor Party, led by former union boss Bill Shorten, has 66 seats. Instead, it has left Turnbull's authority in tatters less than a year after he ousted then prime minister Tony Abbott in a party-room coup with a promise of stable government. But the result of the election may bring further deadlock: If neither party earns a majority of seats in the House, both Labor and the coalition will be forced to try to forge alliances with independent lawmakers to form a minority government.

The surge in voting for independents, combined with rules that make it easier for smaller parties to win Senate seats in a so-called double dissolution of parliament, will likely make it impossible for Turnbull to push through policies including a A$50 billion ($37.19 billion) corporate tax break over 10 years.

Six seats remain in doubt, but the trend across the board it going in Turnbull's favour.

Turnbull said more than three million votes would be added to the count in coming days and while he remained confident of securing a majority; he accepted responsibility for the Coalition's low vote.

Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the center-right Coalition, is still waiting to declare a win in a tight election, even after a member of his party declared a premature victory for the ruling Coalition after Turnbull won the support of three independents.

"I asked for goodwill, I asked for regular being in touch with each other, I asked for good governance and stability", she said, insisting her preference was not to go back to an election.

The latest ABC projections gave Turnbull's coalition 72 seats, with Labor on 67.

Australia's era of political chaos continued on Saturday, with a general election failing to deliver an immediate victor and raising the prospect of a hung parliament.

"Malcolm Turnbull left me with the distinct impression he was very honest about developing seems to me that he realises they've been going in the wrong direction", Katter said of their discussion in Brisbane on Thursday.

If Turnbull wins outright, he will lead the first government to be returned with a majority in 12 years. "But we will be campaign-ready from this day onwards".

But Labor has not conceded that Turnbull will form a government.

Turnbull said he also wanted to investigate the regulation of "robocalls" and text messages sent out by political parties during election campaigns. Mail-in and absentee votes that were being counted days after the weekend poll are favouring the conservatives.

On a national two-party count, just 485 votes separate the Liberal-National coalition and Labor with a 3.5 percent swing to Labor.

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