Australia's conservative government remains hopeful of clinging to power after weekend elections turned too close to call. But the opposition leader has warned that even if the government musters a majority, it will emerge a divided administration without a mandate for its agenda.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hopes to know this week whether his Liberal Party-led coalition will achieve a 76-seat majority in the House of Representatives where it had controlled 90 seats.

Bill Shorten, who leads the center-left Labor Party, said on Wednesday that if Turnbull clung to power, he would still have to deal with the most conservative lawmakers in his party who are angry that Turnbull had ousted his predecessor Tony Abbott in an internal leadership ballot less than a year ago.