Australians have voted to end almost a decade of conservative rule by electing a raft of new independents. Australia’s Labor party will now form a government with Anthony Albanese as prime minister, though it’s not yet clear whether it will have an outright majority or rely on crossbench support.

It was an election driven by frustration with the incumbent. Former prime minister Scott Morrison was deeply unpopular – there were several seats in which his mere presence was seen as politically toxic.

It was also the climate change election that many Australians had been waiting for. The incoming independents campaigned strongly on climate change, as well as anti-corruption measures and gender equality issues. They were able to snatch a handful of seats from the Liberal Party. The Greens also did well, picking up two extra seats and making important gains.

The result is transformative. The loss of “heartland” seats will hurt the conservative Liberal Party and the loss of centrist MPs will push it still further to the right. Meanwhile, the incoming Labor government’s policy agenda is modest, its primary vote remains low, and even on climate change its targets are cautious rather than visionary.

The real winners are the voters. When the campaign began, we polled readers to find out which three issues mattered most to them. More than 10,000 people responded, with 62% nominating climate change as a top issue, followed by the environment with 28% and the cost of living with 20%.

In the 2022 election both major parties adopted incrementalist policies aimed at neutralising climate change as an issue. Australian voters have emphatically rejected that approach.

Misha Ketchell


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Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

The rout of Scott Morrison goes beyond the defeat of his government. It has left behind a Liberal party that is now a flightless bird.

The election showed Australia’s huge appetite for stronger climate action. What levers can the new government pull?

John Quiggin, The University of Queensland

Doing as little as possible on climate change was a seemingly safe political strategy until recently. As of Saturday night, it’s a recipe for political disaster.

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Jannie Rossouw, University of the Witwatersrand

Inflation is bad for any country’s economy. It also hurts the wealth and financial well-being of individuals and households.

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Ronald Suny, University of Michigan

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is against allowing two Nordic countries to join NATO over what he deems their support of ‘terrorists.’ His opposition will test the alliance’s unity.