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Australia begins voting for the next prime minister in a tight race!

Australian voters began their ballots Saturday in a national election that might see the opposition Labor Party barely defeat the incumbent Liberal National coalition. Neither party is making predictions, however, in light of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s surprise victory against the Labor Party in 2019, despite behind them in the polls. Throughout the six-week campaign, his coalition has behind the Labor Party in opinion polls, with voters overwhelmingly dissatisfied with his management of the epidemic and the growing cost of living.

The difference decreased in the final stretch of the campaign as Morrison urged Australians to grant his government a fourth term, citing the country’s robust economic growth and record-low unemployment, while portraying himself as the only one tough enough to stand up to China. Anthony Albanese, the Labor Party’s leader, has endorsed a harsher China policy, mirroring Morrison’s. At the same time, Albanese’s campaign has focused on inflation growing faster than wages, alleging Australia is in a ‘cost of living crisis.’

Major events and developments:

> Australia’s Election is in its final days, with a close result likely.

> Australian PM’s Fight With China May Backfire in Election

> Morrison Slams Plan to Allow Australians to Use Pension Funds for Home Purchases

> Australia’s Next Government Will Have to Deal with Inequality, China, and Coal

> A battle over coal might determine who wins Australia’s election.

> Why Australia’s Prime Minister Is Expecting a Second ‘Miracle’: QuickTake

On Saturday morning, Morrison claimed he was the greatest choice to run the economy and that now was ‘not the time to turn back,’ while Albanese urged Australians should vote for cheaper child care and climate action. Morrison made another pitch to Australians looking to purchase their first house, telling ABC News that only the Liberal-National Coalition would enable them to use their superannuation funds to assist them get to the market. Albanase, commenting on the ABC as well, emphasised voters’ worries about rising living costs, saying people ‘are truly struggling,’¬†and accusing the government of being ‘completely out of touch.’

Polling stations opened on Saturday morning in schools, community halls, and houses of worship. In Australia, voting is compulsory, and various institutions will provide sausages and cakes to residents as they wait in line to vote. The Australian Electoral Commission has stated that due to a personnel shortfall, certain polling stations in Queensland, Western Australia, and South Australia may be unable to operate, while the great majority of the 7,000 centres will be operational. Labor leads the Liberal Nationals in the latest polls (8:36 p.m.)

According to a final Newspoll poll published in The Australian newspaper on Friday, Labor maintains a 53 percent to 47 percent advantage over the government. If this holds true on election day, Albanese will be elected Prime Minister with around 78 members in the 151-member house. Albanese tied with Morrison for the second time in three years when voters were asked who they wanted as Prime Minister.

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