Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull tweeted “what a relief” after Joe Biden was declared to have defeated Donald Trump to become the 46th president of the United States.
Australian leaders past and present weighed in on the victory as the country woke up to the news on Sunday morning.
The race was called at about 3.30am Sunday AEDT.
Congratulations Joe Biden and Kamala Harris! What a relief that you won. 🙏🙏🙏
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) November 7, 2020
There was a tense relationship between Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull, revealed in a heated phone call in 2017 during which the American President lashed a “dumb deal” struck between Mr Turnbull and Barack Obama.
The Washington Post published the complete transcript of the call, which became heated as the two men discussed the plan for the US to resettle refugees held on Manus Island and Nauru.
Australian prime minister Scott Morrison also tweeted on Sunday morning to congratulate the Democratic nominee on his victory and Kamala Harris who will be the first female Vice-President of the US.
Mr Morrison said he looked forward to working with the new Biden government.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese also congratulated Mr Biden and Ms Harris on their victory, saying it showed record support for a “progressive agenda” including action on the pandemic and climate change.
Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on a victory delivered with record support with a progressive agenda based on decency, honest government, creating opportunity and dealing with the pandemic and the challenge of climate change
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) November 7, 2020
Mr Biden passed the required threshold of 270 electoral votes on Saturday morning, US time, after he was declared the winner in the key state of Pennsylvania.
But Mr Trump, who was golfing at the time the race was called, has so far not conceded defeat.
He has continued to repeat baseless claims about election fraud since the results began to tilt towards Mr Biden earlier this week.
“I am honoured and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in vice President-elect Harris,” Mr Biden said in a statement.
“In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America.
“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation.
“It’s time for America to unite. And to heal.”
Originally published as ‘What a relief’: Turnbull’s take on Biden