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Australia election

Australia's allies congratulate Albanese with all eyes on China

Early signs hint at Beijing's hopes for better ties after Morrison's election loss

Australian Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese, center, shakes hands with a voter outside a polling station during Saturday's election.   © AP

SYDNEY -- Australia is still counting the votes from Saturday's election, but world leaders have begun congratulating Labor leader Anthony Albanese, while early signs out of China hint at hopes for better ties and perhaps some schadenfreude about incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison's loss.

Voters opted to end nine years of conservative rule, with local broadcaster ABC's latest projections giving Labor 72 seats as of just before 9 p.m. local time on Sunday. The Liberal-National coalition had 52, while other parties were on track to secure 15, with 12 seats still in doubt. Labor needs to win more than 76 to form a majority government.

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