Australian voters began casting their votes in Saturday’s national election, which could see the opposition Labor Party narrowly defeat the ruling Liberal National Coalition.
Neither party is predicting the dismal victory of Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2019 when he defeats the Labor Party in reverse. His coalition is currently behind the Labor Party in opinion polls throughout the six-week campaign, which has left voters largely unhappy with the epidemic and the rising cost of living.
When Morrison appealed to Australians to give his government a fourth term, asking him to consider the country’s strong economic growth and record-low unemployment, the gap was narrowed at the end of the campaign, but he saw himself as tough. Stand against China.
His main rival and Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, has also adopted a strict China policy to reflect Morrison. At the same time, the Albanese campaign has trained its attention on inflation rising faster than wages, claiming that the Australian has a “cost of living crisis”.
Key stories and developments:
> Australia’s election is likely to enter the final days
> Struggle with China threatens to back Australian Prime Minister in election
> Morrison panned for Australians planning to tap a pension for a home
> Australia’s next government must deal with inequality, China and coal
> Showdown on coal can determine who wins the Australian election
> Why the Australian leader is hoping for a second ‘Miracle’: QuickTake
Australian Eastern Standard Time All Time:
Morrison, Final Pitch for Albanese Voters (9am)
In his final push for Saturday morning votes, Morrison said he was the best choice to manage the economy and now is “not the time to go back,” but said that Albanese Australians should vote for action on cheaper child care and climate change.
Morrison once again appealed to voters who are struggling to buy their own homes, telling ABC News that the Liberal National Coalition only allows people to tap into their retirement funds to help with home ownership.
Albanase, speaking on ABC, focused on voters’ cost of living, saying people were “really struggling” and accusing the government of “completely out of touch”.
Voting begins across Australia on Saturday (8am)
Polling stations were opened Saturday morning in schools, community homes and prayer places. Voting is mandatory in Australia, and several companies sell sausages and cakes to citizens while they wait in queue to cast their votes.
The Australian Electoral Commission said some polling booths in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia may not be able to open due to a shortage of staff, although the majority of the 7,000 centers are accessible.
Last poll before voting shows strength over Liberal Nationals (8:36 pm)
A final Newspoll poll published in The Australian on Friday found that Labor was leading by 53% to 47%. Repeating this on election day, Albanese will vote as the prime minister with about 78 seats in the 151-member legislature.
When voters asked whom to vote for as prime minister, Albanese aligned with Morrison for the second time in just three years.