Australian Election Too Close to Call

Australian politicians will struggle to form a government in coming days after results from Saturday's election yield no clear winner.
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CANBERRA, Australia (TheStreet) -- Australian politicians will struggle in coming days to form a new government after Saturday's nailbiter of an election yielded no clear winner.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Saturday that the election was "too close to call" and that she would stay on as a caretaker leader as votes continue to be counted, the

Associated Press

reported.

Electoral officials said early Sunday that Gillard's center-left Labor Party and a coalition led by the conservative Liberal Party each had 71 seats, leaving both short of a 76-seat majority, the

AP

added.

Tony Abott, the leader of the Liberal Party, said he would start negotiating with independent members of parliament to form a government.

The last time an Australian government had to rely upon the support of independents to rule was in 1942, the

AP

noted.

A former lawyer, Gillard seized power in an internal party dispute in June from her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, the

AP

noted. She called this week's elections to confirm her mandate, the

AP

added.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.