Australia's ruling coalition nears majority after polls

Canberra: Australia's Liberal-National Coalition led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is inching closer to securing 76 seats, which will allow it to form a government on its own, officials said on Friday. As per the provisional results of the elections held on July 2, the ruling coalition has secured 74 seats against 71 by the opposition Labour Party; the remaining five seats have been secured by smaller parties and Independents, Efe news reported. In the ABC portal, poll analysts predicted Turnbull's party could secure up to 77 of the 150 seats after the final results, allowing it to form a government without outside help. However, to secure his hold on the next government, Turnbull has already begun negotiations with other players. According to media reports, the coalition on Thursday secured the support of independent MP Bob Katter and on Friday, independent legislator Cathy McGowan publicly backed the prime minister. "It's likely in coming days that the Liberals will scrape over the line," Opposition leader Bill Shorten of the Labour Party had conceded during a party meeting.