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Saturday, October 09, 2004

Australia != Spain:

PRIME Minister John Howard has claimed victory in the federal election that returned him to office for a fourth term in a vote that saw surprise gains for the Coalition across the country.

Labor failed to make any significant gains and senior party figures were conceding defeat just hours into the counting tonight.

Labor leader Mark Latham conceded defeat in a phone call to Mr Howard around three hours after polling finished in the eastern states.

Soon afterwards Mr Howard addressed supporters in Sydney and said he was "truly humbled" by the result and promised to "rededicate myself and all of my colleagues to the service of the Australian people".

He acknowledged Mr Latham's concession and thanked him for "the gracious things that he said."

"There can only be one winner when an election is held," Mr Howard said.

"We are joyful that the verdict has been given by the Australian people but never forget the fact that governments are elected to govern not only for the people who voted for them, but also for the people who voted against them."

The strength of support for the Coalition surpassed all expectations as Labor's vote collapsed in Tasmania and nationally the Coalition looked set to increase its majority in Parliament.

Early Senate results show the Coalition may also command a majority in the Upper House, which would allow Mr Howard to proceed with the sale of Telstra and other controversial Government plans held up by the opposition over the past three years.

The last paragraph there is just as significant as the first. Imagine a Bush administration with a super-majority in the Senate, with the ability to avoid threats of filibustering.


.: posted by Dave 9:24 AM

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