Okay - that's it from me (and Alex and Andrew). Let's look back on the day that was:
- Prime minister elect Tony Abbott has held a series of meetings with departmental heads to begin to get to grips with the landscape of government;
- Mr Abbott will not be sworn in until either late this week or early next week (along with his ministry);
- former Labor leader Kevin Rudd stayed out of sight;
- Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese remain the names most commonly linked to the leadership; and
- the new Senate looks as if it is going to be very interesting with as many as eight independent and minor party newbies (and that's not counting the Greens).
Thanks to everyone who has read and commented on the blog throughout the campaign. Andrew, Alex and myself have thoroughly enjoyed putting it together and we appreciate your interest and participation.
We are all going to have a few days off but will be back soon.
See you then.
I'm nearly about to call it a day.
Usually I pay tribute to the incredible work of photographers Alex Ellinghausen and Andrew Meares in my wrap up but today I thought I'd give them their own post. Neither have had a day off during the campaign but have consistently maintained their good humour and always captured the best pictures. They are a delight and a privilege to work with.
Here is a gallery of some of their campaign highlights.
Best of Federal Election 2013
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the People's Forum at the Rooty Hill RSL in Sydney. Photo: Andrew Meares
Our resident Senate expert, The Age's economics editor Tim Colebatch, thinks the new make up might resemble a "barnyard".
(Given prime minister elect Tony Abbott's warnings about the dangers of independents he might agree.)
Tim writes that based on the most up to date figures there will be eight minor party senators from separate groups, some of them virtually unknown entities with no track record and no known policies, who will be given the power to decide whether not each government bill should be passed.
I should point out that the first indigenous woman has been elected to Parliament.
Nova Peris will take her place in the Senate for Labor.
Ms Peris had a controversial start to her political career when former prime minister Julia Gillard parachuted her into the top place on Labor's Northern Territory Senate ticket at the expense of long serving senator Trish Crossin.
Nova Peris voting at her old school, Dripstone High School, in Darwin on Saturday. Photo: Glenn Campbell
The Greens have heralded an "extraordinary" result in Saturday's election despite recording a swing against the part of 3.4 per cent.
The party attracted 8.4 per cent of the primary vote but looked almost certain to retain all its MPs and collect a new senator for Victoria, Janet Rice.
A colleague just popped into the Parliament House gift shop where staff reported that there had already been several requests for the "Tony Abbott Prime Minister" mug. (It has not been made. Yet.)
A lot of meetings are required in this governing caper.
Prime minister elect Tony Abbott meets with David Tune, Dr Martin Parkinson and Dr Ian Watt at his Sydney office on Sunday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
The Coalition's election victory was built on a huge swing in Tasmania and a surge of support in Victoria but voters in NSW and Queensland were less inclined to switch to Tony Abbott.
Lunch. Good plan.
Jessica Rudd arrives at the home of her father Kevin Rudd in Brisbane on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Meares
Photographer Andrew Meares has been outside Kevin Rudd's Brisbane home since early this morning but there has been not a glimpse of either Mr Rudd or his wife Therese Rein.
Their daughter, Jessica, just arrived with her daughter, Josephine, who was described by Mr Rudd last night as the "youngest member of young Labor".
Mr Rudd's long time adviser, Patrick Gorman, is also there.
Jessica Rudd and daughter Josephine arrive Kevin Rudd's home in Brisbane on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Meares
In which Fregmonto Stokes explains why and how he photobombed Mr Abbott's victory speech (see 12.01 pm post).
Abbott's photo bomber reveals motives
Fregmonto Stokes, the intruder who photobombed Tony Abbott’s election victory appearance explains how and why he went on stage.PT1M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2tddd 620 349 September 8, 2013
How did this happen, I hear you ask.
The answers is preferences and the complicated deals that determine them. Everyone who votes above the line in the Senate has their preferences allocated according to those deals which are not exactly transparent.
The Greens are already calling for reform of the Senate voting system to give voters control of preference flows.
"We must end the back room preference deals to safeguard the standing of the Senate," Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon says.
Senator Rhiannon believes the way to deal with this is to introduce optional preferential above the line voting in the Senate.
"The benefit of this reform is that it does not limit new parties forming but it removes the incentive for parties to form smaller front parties for the purpose of harvesting votes through preferences. It also means a candidate is much less likely to be elected off a minuscule vote," Senator Rhiannon says.
So back to the Senate.
In the 10.53 am post I did a quick run through the numbers as they stand now.
The 'what the?' results are the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party and the Australian Sports Party - the former looks set to pick up a Victorian Senate spot at the expense of the Liberal Party while the latter could well get up in West Australia instead of the Labor Party.
In both cases the parties got less than one per cent of the vote.
An email from Liberal Party headquarters has just gone out to anyone they have an email address for.
"It is with a deep sense of responsibility that the Liberal National Coalition begins its work for you, the Australian people," says the email which has been put out in Mr Abbott's name.
"Elections by their nature are tough contests and I honour everyone, from every political party, who stood or participated in yesterday's election. I respect the conviction that makes men and women stand up for the things they believe in and I pay tribute to it."
"It is our differences that prove we are free and it is our willingness to come together after the contest that makes us strong."
Who would you like to see as the new Labor leader?
Poll: Who would make the best new leader of the Labor Party?
- Anthony Albanese
- Bill Shorten
- Tanya Plibersek
- Tony Burke
Total votes: 8111.
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Poll closed 8 Sep, 2013
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie easily hung onto his Hobart based seat of Denison thanks to a big swing towards him.
Mr Wilkie promises to be a "very loud voice in the new Parliament".
"There's an even more important role now for the cross bench to hold the government to account," Mr Wilkie says.
He is looking forward to a "delightful long lunch" with the Greens' Adam Bandt and independent Bob Katter about their priorities.
Some people waste no time cleaning up and moving on:
Off to the dump pic.twitter.com/zK0Cq7mBqY— Peter Beattie (@SmartState1) September 8, 2013
Mr Abbott will be in Canberra tomorrow.
But he will not be sworn in as prime minister until later in the week or possibly early next week.
Prime minister elect Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin, meet with Ian Watt, secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, in Sydney on Sunday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Greens leader Christine Milne is declaring Victoria the new "Green heartland".
(Deputy leader Adam Bandt retained his lower house seat and the party picked up a senator - Janet Rice.)
"The Green team in Parliament will be standing up strongly against the excesses of an Abbott government," Senator Milne says.
Mr Bandt says his campaign "reconnected with the people of Melbourne" and attracted first time voters for the party.
"I will work very hard over the next three years against the brutality of Tony Abbott's government," Mr Bandt says.
Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt, leader Christine Milne and senator elect Janet Rice in Melbourne on Sunday. Photo: Simon Schluter
Remember that moment last night when a young man suddenly appeared on stage with the Abbott family?
He managed to get in wearing a fake security wristband made from a yellow lolly wrapper and is believed to be a 25 year old anti coal protester.
A prankster is taken away as Tony Abbott gives his victory speech in Sydney on Saturday night. Photo: Nick Moir
If you have the appetite for it here are a couple of longer pieces that you might care to read.
Here is The Age's national affairs editor, Tony Wright, on the surreal campaign.
The Age's political editor, Michael Gordon, analyses what the election result means.
Here is Mr Rudd's.
If you feel like reliving a bit of last night allow me to direct you to the videos of the speeches made by prime minister elect Tony Abbott and former Labor leader Kevin Rudd.
Here is Mr Abbott's.
Labor's Bill Shorten leaves the ABC studios in Melbourne on Sunday. Photo: Angela Wylie
There are, as yet, no formal contenders for the leadership of the Labor Party.
The speculation is still swirling around Bill Shorten, Anthony Albanese and Chris Bowen.
Mr Shorten was circumspect when asked about his position this morning.
"I've got a couple of criteria," Mr Shorten told ABC television. "One is my family - I've been away from them a great deal....In addition, the party is bigger than any individual [and] there's no doubt the Australian people have marked us down for talking ourselves and being too divided."
I'll just give you a state by state break down of the Senate results thus far:
- Victoria - 2 Coalition, 2 Labor, 1 Green, 1 Motoring Enthusiast Party (Ricky Muir);
- NSW - 3 Coalition (frontbencher Arthur Sinodinos is holding on at this stage), 2 Labor, 1 Liberal Democratic Party (David Leyonhjelm);
- Queensland - 3 Coalition, 2 Labor, 1 Palmer United Party (former rugby league star Glenn Lazarus);
- South Australia - 2 Coalition, 1 Labor, 1 Green, independent Nick Xenophon and 1 Family First (Bob Day);
- Tasmania - 2 Coalition, 2 Labor, 1 Green, 1 Palmer United Party (Jacqui Lambe);
- West Australia - 3 Coalition, 1 Labor, 1 Green, 1 Australian Sporting Party (Wayne Dropulich); and
- ACT and NT each returned one Labor and one Coalition senator.
(NB - the new Senate does not begin until July 1 next year.)
What's going on in the Senate?
At the moment the numbers are as follows (this takes into account the senators who were not up for re election) - the Coalition has 33, Labor has 25, the Greens have 10, the Democratic Labour Party has one and another seven independents.
Clearly a lot of people did not heed prime minister elect Tony Abbott's plea to stay away from independents.
Mr Abbott has just left his home on Sydney's northern beaches bound for the office.
He spoke only briefly to say he was looking forward to "getting down to business".
The new government will not be sworn in until later this week or possibly even early next week. Mr Abbott will have to decide on the make up of his ministry before that can happen.
This would mean the earliest Parliament might return would be late October.
Prime minister elect Tony Abbott talks with neighbours before leaving his home for meetings and briefings on Sunday. Photo: Kate Geraghty
A couple of the more colourful seat campaigns have been the Victorian seat of Indi and the Sydney seat of Greenway.
The Age's national affairs editor, Tony Wright, finishes up with Team Abbott today.
Tony reports that it will be quiet day in terms of public appearances for Mr Abbott today. He will soon arrive at the government offices in the Sydney CBD to receive briefings from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Defence and intelligence agencies as well as a run down on the situation in Syria.
Mr Abbott is expected in Canberra tomorrow but there is no word on whether he has accepted Kevin Rudd's invitation to show him around The Lodge.
Margie Abbott says she's giving herself "24 hours to come to terms with this".
"I think at this stage it's a little surreal," Mrs Abbott said earlier this morning.
"Come Monday morning we'll have a much better idea as to what is ahead of us."
Margie Abbott arrives at the Abbott's home in Forestville, Sydney, on Sunday. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Let's have a quick look at the most recent numbers from the Australian Electoral Commission.
The Coalition has 88 lower house seats (that's 57 for the Liberal Party, 21 for the Liberal National Party, nine for the National Party and one for the Country Liberals).
Labor has 57 seats.
The Greens' Adam Bandt and independents Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie kept their seats.
Two seats remain in contention - Fairfax in Queensland (where billionaire Clive Palmer is in the running) and Indi in Victoria (where Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella has faced a tough battle).
Mr Abbott said last night he would get to work straight away with a day of briefings. Presumably after a shower.
Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott arrives home at his home in Sydney after a morning bike ride on Sunday. Photo: Kate Geraghty
I assume this makes Tony Abbott the first MAMIL (middle aged man in lycra) prime minister.
Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott arrives at his home in Forestville, Sydney, after a morning bike ride on Sunday. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott leaves his home in Forestville, Sydney for his early morning bike ride on Sunday. Photo: Kate Geraghty
Just because you've become the prime minister elect is no reason to dump your morning exercise routine.