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Election 2007 – 10:49pm

And John Howard concedes defeat in a very graceful style.

This is very likely John Howard’s final public speech. It’s an appropriate and fitting speech to end a very successful career. Highlighting his many achievements, thanking his colleagues, and declaring Peter Costello “the future of the Liberal party”, although he wishes the new leader the best, whoever that may be.

John Howard accepted responsibility for the campaign and the coalition’s loss, and has thanked the Liberal Party for all it has done for him over his 33 year career. He also thanked his staff, individually, and his family, paying special homage to Janette.

Mr. Howard was clearly trying to hold back the tears, especially when thanking Australia for allowing him to be the prime minister for eleven and a half years. He also wished the new government “chosen by the people of the Australia”, all the best.

It was a rowdy and supportive crowd, and it was a great, personable speech, a perfect speech to round out a wonderful career.

John Howard, best of luck in your retirement, and thank you for being the Australian Prime Minister. When the dust settles, you will go down in history as one of the greatest prime ministers in history.