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Australia votes today!

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Nyambala, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Nyambala

    Nyambala JF-Expert Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Joined: Oct 10, 2007
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    Millions of Australians are heading to polling stations around the country to cast their vote in an election tipped to be the closest in almost 50 years.

    Election-day polls show the result is in the balance but the momentum is with the Coalition.
    Today's Newspoll in The Weekend Australian shows the two-party preferred vote split down the middle with Labor on 50.2 per cent and the Coalition on 49.8 per cent.

    It also shows Labor's primary vote sitting at a dangerous 36.2 per cent compared to the Coalition, which is sitting on 43.4 per cent.

    The campaign was at its most ferocious in Queensland and New South Wales and this polling shows a swing to the Coalition in those states that could move enough seats to make Tony Abbott the prime minister.

    The Nielsen poll in Fairfax papers has a slightly different picture - it finds Labor leading after preferences by 52 to 48 per cent.

    Taken together the two polls confirm it could be the closest election in 50 years.
    Labor or the Coalition need a minimum of 76 seats to govern in their own right, otherwise the balance of power would be with the three independents who are expected to be re-elected. The Greens are also likely to win a Lower House seat.

    Few could have picked how this campaign would have turned out a year ago when Kevin Rudd was riding high in the polls on a wave of electorate support over the Government's handling of the global financial crisis.

    However issues with the rollout of the Government's stimulus program and the backdown of the Rudd government on an emissions trading scheme saw Labor take a dive in the polls, and Julia Gillard wrest control of the top job.

    Mr Abbott, himself Opposition Leader for less than nine months, defied expectations mounting an effective attack on the Government, capitalising on ongoing Labor unrest over the axing of Mr Rudd.

    In a campaign marked by an absence of big spending announcements, both sides have vowed to return the budget to surplus and sought to paint each other as a risk to the economy.
    Ms Gillard will spend the day campaigning in her seat of Lalor in Victoria and says she expects the result to hinge on a few key seats.

    "I've said to the media who've travelled with me each and every day, this will be a tight, tough, close contest. It'll come down to the wire," she said.

    "And of course that means there's a real risk Mr Abbott will become prime minister."
    Mr Abbott will spend the day in Sydney, where voter disapproval with the state Labor government is expected to deliver the Coalition a strong swing.

    He says Labor does not deserve a second chance to govern.

    "We can have a better Australia if we get rid of a bad government," he said.
    "This government has broken promises, it's wasted money and it's clobbered our most successful industry with a great big new tax. And the only way to fix all of that is to change the government."