Malcolm Turnbull takes responsibility for election result
THE election's final result might still be days away, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was "more confident" yesterday of forming a government than he was immediately after the election.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Mr Turnbull said he believed postal votes would help the Coalition in the seats still to be decided, but Labor leader Bill Shorten warned that the PM could be about to call a snap election.
The Australian Electoral Commission resumed counting yesterday after spending Sunday and Monday sorting and verifying postal votes.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said Coalition analysts believed they would win in Flynn and Capricornia, where the vote remained on a knife's edge.
He conceded, however, voters were fed up with the Coalition and Labor and looking to other options.
"There is no doubt that there is a level of disillusionment with politics, with government and with the major parties," he said.
Mr Joyce said it would be "absurd" to think he and Mr Turnbull were not speaking to crossbenchers about the possibility of a minority government, but they still believed they would win at least 76 seats in the Lower House.
Mr Turnbull said the Coalition had common values with crossbenchers Bob Katter and Cathy McGowan and a long relationship with Nick Xenophon.
However, Mr Shorten said Mr Turnbull might "well be tempted" to return Australia to the polls.
"The easy option for him would be to pull the ripcord and call another election," he said.
Mr Shorten confirmed he had also been meeting with crossbenchers, but said he was open to working "with the Liberals".
Mr Turnbull said he "took full responsibility" for the government's campaign, but the Coalition had to accept voters were concerned about its attitudes towards health and the Medicare system.
Mr Turnbull said voters accepting Labor's Medicare campaign despite the Coalition's repeated denials and this showed they did not trust his government on health care.
Mr Shorten dismissed Mr Turnbull's recommitment to health and said only Labor could be trusted to protect Medicare.
"This is a desperate statement from a desperate man trying to keep his job," he said.