Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday exuded confidence that she would be able to form a new government despite the fluid political situation.

In televised comments to the media, Ms. Gillard was emphatic in hinting that the ruling Labour was ahead of the Opposition Liberal-National Coalition in the race to form a minority government after Saturday's general election. “Labour has recorded the biggest two-party-preferred vote.” And, the crux of the Australian political system was the two-party-preferred count, she emphasised. With that, the suggestion that her party had lost the primary vote count was brushed aside.

Official results showed the Labour winning 70 seats and the Coalition 71.

Ms. Gillard said she had begun “preliminary” talks with Independents and the Greens on the formation of “an effective government.” She would continue them as the vote count “becomes clearer and clearer.”

Australian analysts felt that “Labour looks better placed than the Coalition to form a minority government in what could be Australia's first hung Parliament in 70 years.” The conclusion was based on the post-poll contacts among political leaders and updated prospects of results for seats still rated “doubtful” by the Australian Electoral Commission.

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