Australia’s political limbo looks set to continue for several more days.
Both the prime minister and conservative opposition leader are wooing the independent and Green candidates whose support will be crucial in forming the next government.
Speaking in Canberra, Julia Gillard said talks will go on: “I and the Deputy Prime Minister will be meeting with and having negotiations and discussions with the independent members of parliament and also the Greens. I want to assure everyone that those negotiations will be conducted diligently with integrity and properly and in good faith.”
Conservative coalition leader Tony Abbott has also opened talks with the independents.
Although the full results are not yet in, it looks as though both parties could end up with 73 seats each, three short of the 76 needed for a majority.
While the papers are full of the possibility of the first Australian hung parliament since 1940, stocks have rallied on hopes that Gillard’s government will fall and, with her, her proposed mining tax.