Howard phones Rudd, concedes defeat

November 24th, 2007 - 6:37 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, Nov.24 (ANI): Prime Minister John Howard phoned Leader of Opposition and leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), Keven Rudd, a short while ago and conceded defeat in the country’s general elections.
Howard’s conceding of defeat followed the eminent loss of his Bennelong seat in Sydney, where Labor celebrity candidate Maxine McKew was achieving a six per cent swing against him with more than a third of the vote counted.
McKew arrived to a rapturous welcome to her election function in Bennelong, with supporters screaming and cheering as she fought her way through the crowd to the stage.
But despite a strong swing to Labor, she declined to claim victory over Howard, who has held the seat since 1974.
“This has been an amazing night. A wonderful night for Labor, a fabulous, I hope, transforming moment for the country. Now something may have happened in the last 20 minutes, but when I last looked at the figures, Bennelong is on a knife edge,” she said while at her husband and former ALP national secretary Bob Hogg’s side.
NSW deputy leader John Watkins, who was at the McKew headquarters said the votes was still close and may come down to postals.
If the current trend continues the Prime Minister would be only the second leader in Australian federal history to lose his seat. No serving prime minister has lost his seat in an election since Stanley Bruce in 1929.
Labor needs a swing of 4.13 per cent to unseat Howard. McKew’s well publicised challenge proved a significant distraction for Howard who was forced to spend much of the campaign shoring up support at home rather than campaigning in other marginal coalition seats. (ANI)

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