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Until around a year ago, Australian Prime Minister John Howard looked unbeatable with his administration’s strong economic management. But in Sunday’s elections, the youthful-looking Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd dealt a crushing defeat to the conservative coalition led by the 68-year-old Mr. Howard.

In the elections that have brought about the first change of government in 11 years and eight months, Mr. Howard was set to lose his lower house seat of 33 years to Ms. Maxine McKew, a former TV journalist in a northern Sydney constituency. Labor Party garnered its biggest victory since World War II, expecting to get 88 seats in the 150-seat lower house.

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