Anthony Albanese is edging closer to sealing a majority in parliament as counting continues following the federal election.
While six seats remain close, it's expected the final tally will show Labor holding 76 seats to 61 for the coalition, with 14 on the cross bench.
This represents a eight-seat gain for Labor and a 16-seat loss for the coalition on the 2019 election result.
In the closest contest, at 5pm AEST on Tuesday the Victorian seat of Deakin, former minister Michael Sukkar is ahead of Labor's Matt Gregg by 74 votes.
Former NSW minister and Liberal candidate Andrew Constance is tracking 105 votes ahead of sitting Labor MP Fiona Phillips in the South Coast seat of Gilmore.
Labor MP for the Tasmanian seat of Lyons, Brian Mitchell, is 729 votes ahead of Liberal challenger Susie Bower.
In the Victorian seat of Macnamara, the ABC is projecting Labor's Josh Burns on 54.5 per cent, ahead of the Greens' Steph Hodgins-May.
The ABC is projecting Labor's Madonna Jarrett on 55.2 per cent ahead of Liberal MP Trevor Evans in his seat of Brisbane, after she went ahead of the Greens on primary votes on Tuesday afternoon.
A two-party preferred count in the NSW seat of Richmond posted on Tuesday afternoon showed Labor's Justine Elliot comfortably holding her seat on 58 per cent of the vote.
The Senate result remains undetermined, but the coalition is on track to hold 30 seats and Labor 25 in the 76-seat chamber from July 1.
Labor will need 14 extra votes in the upper house to pass legislation, relying on the Greens for support.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is expected to retain her Senate seat in Queensland.
But billionaire Clive Palmer will not win a seat, despite spending an estimated $100 million on his United Australia Party campaign.
As the election post-mortem continued, Liberal senator Andrew Bragg said the way in which his party had tried to "import US-style culture wars" had turned off voters.
"There was a view that we didn't have enough economic policies that were ambitious, and we also at times looked as if we weren't being focused on fairness, kindness, support for minorities," he told ABC radio on Tuesday.
While he awaits the final result, Mr Albanese has secured the backing of crossbenchers Rebekha Sharkie, Bob Katter, Zali Steggall, Andrew Wilkie and Helen Haines in case of a no-confidence motion being moved in parliament.
Mr Albanese was in Tokyo on Tuesday holding talks with US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi under the banner of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue.
He will head home on Wednesday.
The Labor caucus is due to meet on May 31 and a new ministry will be sworn in on June 1, with NSW senator Jenny McAllister expected to be a new cabinet entrant.
The Liberal Party is expected to replace Scott Morrison with outgoing defence minister Peter Dutton.
Queensland LNP MP Warren Entsch backed Mr Dutton's leadership on Tuesday, describing him as a "compassionate" man.
But there could be several contenders for the deputy role, including Anne Ruston, Sussan Ley, Alan Tudge and Angus Taylor.
The Nationals leadership will also be spilled at a party room meeting, likely next week, but Barnaby Joyce is widely expected to retain the top job.
The Nationals held all of its seats, some with bigger margins, and is on track to gain a NSW senator.
Australian Associated Press
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