Australia's opposition leader has conceded defeat in a dramatically close national election that has left the country in limbo for more than a week.

Vote counting is still underway from the July 2 ballot. But opposition leader Bill Shorten said on Sunday that it was clear that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's conservative coalition would eventually secure enough seats in the House of Representatives to retain power.

That means the ruling conservative coalition will either form a majority government by a narrow margin, or the country will face a hung parliament. That would force the coalition to try and form a minority government with the support of independent and minor party lawmakers.