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Tony Abbott Defeats Kevin Rudd To Win Australian Election

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TONY ABBOTT
Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott is set to win the election | Getty

Tony Abbott has become Australia's 28th prime minister, declaring from today "Australia is under new management ."

Abbott said he was "proud and humbled" to "shoulder the duties of government", as he spoke to his supporters today after his victorious win.

"I now look forward to forming a government that is competent, that is trustworthy, and which purposefully and steadfastly and methodically sets about delivering on our commitments to you, the Australian people," he said.

Earlier, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd conceded that Labor has lost the federal election from Brisbane.

At a party function in Brisbane, Mr Rudd said: "A short time again I telephoned Tony Abbott to concede defeat at this national election. As prime minister of Australia, I wish him well in the high office of prime minister of this country."

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Former prime minister Bob Hawke told Sky News the election was "lost by the government" rather than won by the opposition.

"The personal manipulations and pursuits of interest have dominated more than they should and in the process the concentration on values has slipped," he said.

"All the evidence shows that the electorate is not madly keen about him [Tony Abbott]," Mr Hawke told Sky News.

Deeply religious, Abbott's conservative views on issues such as abortion and gay marriage have sparked cries of outrage.

Questions have also been asked about his attitude towards women, with Australia's first female prime minister Julia Gillard famously labelling him a misogynist in a heart-felt speech in Parliament.

But now his party will lead Australia following Labor being marred by relentless infighting - which saw Mr Rudd oust Ms Gillard a few weeks ago.

Labor minister Jason Clare has said it's time for fundamental change in Australian politics.

"We need to put the Rudd and Gillard era behind us," Mr Clare told Australia's Channel 10.

"[People have] said they don't want us to run the country, we've got to listen to that, we've got to learn from that."

Mr Clare said people were sick of the "dance of death between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd".

Opinion polls and an early exit poll all predicted a resounding Liberal win after more than 14.7 million electors took part in the mandatory ballot across the country.

During the five-week campaign, Mr Abbott gradually overtook the once-popular Mr Rudd.

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