Australian election 2022: who is new PM Anthony Albanese - and what has he said about climate change?
Australia has been an outlier on climate change - partly as a result of former-PM Scott Morrison’s pro-coal stance
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Anthony Albanese has been elected as Australia’s new Prime Minister after incumbent Scott Morrison conceded defeat in the country’s general election.
Mr Albanese becomes the sixth Australian PM to serve in the last 10 years, following a tumultuous period in the country’s politics.
The Labor Party leader has vowed to change Australia’s position on climate change, bolster the welfare state and boost manufacturing output.
So who is Anthony Albanese, what does he stand for - and what are the final results of the Australian election projected to be?
Who is Scott Morrison?
Scott Morrison, 54, was Australia’s Prime Minister before being defeated at the ballot box by Anthony Albanese.
He came into office in 2018 after being elected leader of the conservative Liberal Party - a centre-right political party that has held power in a coalition with the National Party since 2013.
In that time it has had two leaders aside from Mr Morrison - Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.
The Liberals have close ties with the UK Conservative Party, with both parties using the services of political strategist Lynton Crosby - who worked with Boris Johnson on his 2008 London Mayoral campaign.
Crosby protégé Isaac Levido, who helped to mastermind Johnson’s 2019 UK general election victory, led Scott Morrison’s campaign at the 2022 Australian general election.
While Scott Morrison won the 2019 Australian election, his term in office has been punctuated by gaffes and controversies.
When major fires linked to global warming hit Australia in December 2019, Mr Morrison was heavily criticised for going on holiday to Hawaii during the crisis.
Despite apologising, he was heckled on a visit to a devastated town and also refused to draw a link between the fires and climate change.
Indeed, much of Mr Morrison’s tenure has been dominated by climate-scepticism.
A major supporter of the coal industry, Morrison’s administration was believed to be one of the reasons why the international agreement at COP26 in Glasgow had to be watered down.
The Morrison administration has also been beset by sex scandals, a poor record on women’s rights and extreme Covid-19 lockdowns.
His last gaffe as Australian PM came on the campaign trail when he body-checked a young child in a game of football.
Mr Morrison has indicated he will now also step down as leader of the Liberal Party.
Who is Anthony Albanese?
Scott Morrison’s successor, Anthony Albanese, is set to become the first Italian-Australian Prime Minister and the first Labor Party leader since Kevin Rudd stepped down in 2013.
Mr Albanese, 59, is one of Australia’s longest-serving politicians.
He’s seen as being on the left of the Labor Party and is a long-term supporter of Australia’s free healthcare system, an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community as well as a republican.
However, during his 2022 election campaign, he moved towards the political centre.
He watered down his climate proposals, supported Australia’s controversial policy of turning back asylum seeker boats, and has also taken a tougher stance on China - which is bolstering its military presence in the Pacific.
Born in New South Wales in 1963, Mr Albanese was brought up in social housing by a single mother, Maryanne Ellery, who had to take out disability benefits.
His father Carlo Albanese was an Italian businessman his mother had met while travelling around Europe.
Mr Albanese joined the Labor Party in his 20s and worked in politics at both state and federal level, before getting elected to the Australian Parliament on his 33rd birthday in 1996.
When Labor was elected in 2007 under the leadership of Kevin Rudd, he served as minister for infrastructure and transport - a role he also served in under Mr Rudd’s successor Julia Gillard.
He replaced Bill Shorten as leader of the opposition in Australia after the 2019 general election.
What are Anthony Albanese’s policies?
Anthony Albanese will take Australia in a different political direction in several areas, but the biggest change is set to come in Australia’s stance on climate change.
He has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2050 and “end the climate wars in Australia”.
"Australian businesses know that good action on climate change is good for jobs and good for our economy, and I want to join the global effort," he told the BBC after his victory.
However, Mr Albanese has refused to commit to the phasing out of coal or to stop new coal mines from being opened.
Other policies include bolstering the welfare state, a major public spending package to support Australia’s social care sector, an aim to bring down the cost of childcare, and targets to boost manufacturing in the country.
These plans come against a backdrop of Australia’s highest inflation rate since 2001, alongside soaring housing prices.
The Labor administration is also set to hold a referendum on giving Indigenous people greater rights and has said it wants to take a more cooperative political appraoch than its predecessors.
What were the Australian election 2022 results?
The final results of the Australian election have yet to be announced, with major uncertainty over whether the Labor Party will be able to form a majority or a coalition government.
There are 151 seats in Australia’s House of Representatives, with Labor having already won 71 seats - five short of a majority - with 67% of votes counted, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The incumbent Liberal-National coalition is ahead in 52 of the undecided seats - at least 24 seats down on its previous total.
It has struggled in the polls as it had to fight on two fronts - against the Labor Party, but also against so-called ‘teal candidates’, who have so far taken nine seats.
The independent teals are a group of more climate-conscious right-leaning politicians.
It’s expected to be several days before a full result can be announced.
The reason why it’s taking so long is Australians filled out more postal ballots than usual due to Covid-19.
Anthony Albanese may need to be sworn in as acting-PM ahead of the full result so he can attend a crucial summit in Tokyo on Tuesday (24 May) with US President Joe Biden and the leaders of both Japan and India.
Additional reporting by PA