Australian Labor Party edges closer to victory
Friday 03 September 2010
Prime Minister Julia Gillard edged closer to retaining power in Australia yesterday when an independent lawmaker said he would support her centre-left Labor Party to form Australia's first minority government in almost seven decades.
A bloc of three independent kingmakers will now decide whether Labor will govern for a second three-year term or whether a conservative Liberal Party-led coalition will form the next administration, after 21 August elections failed to give any party a majority.
The conservative coalition now needs the backing of all three remaining uncommitted independents to reach a 76-seat majority in the 150-seat House of Representatives, while Labor needs only two.
Independent Andrew Wilkie announced his decision to back Labor after meetings with Ms Gillard and Liberal leader Tony Abbott.
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