Postal votes helping Coalition but majority still unanswered

POSTAL votes are slowly giving the Coalition hope of gaining a parliamentary majority.

Counting postal votes only began on Tuesday and have favoured the Coalition in many knife-edge seats.

As of midday on Wednesday the ABC was projecting the Coalition had won 70 seats and the Labor Party 67. Any party needs 76 seats to form government.

Labor's lead in the marginal southern Brisbane seat of Forde was a low as 77 votes on Wednesday.

Even Longman Liberal MP Wyatt Roy expressed hope he could hold onto his seat with about 59% of postal votes favouring him. But he admitted he needed more than 60% of the postal votes to hold his seat.

ABC election analyst Antony Green yesterday said the numbers were starting to fall in the Coalition's favour.

But he said an outright majority was looking less likely.

"I think they can get to 76 (seats); 73 is a definite; 74 is also likely; 75 is possible; 76 is less possible," he said.

"It's still either a very, very narrow Coalition majority, or it's a hung parliament. The Coalition will have more seats than Labor."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has continued to maintain the Coalition will gain an outright majority.

Speaking to Channel Nine on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he supported Mr Turnbull's leadership and believed he was doing a better job than former PM Tony Abbott.

"Look it's the hardest job in the book to be Prime Minister during an election campaign and I think Malcolm is definitely the leader the nation needs," he said.

Mr Joyce also said he expected the National Party to play a greater role if the Coalition is able to form government. - ARM NEWSDESK



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