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Australians will vote in Saturday’s general election because polls suggest the Labor Party is ahead of the ruling Conservative coalition, but the strong performance of independents concerned about climate change could lead to a hung parliament.
The center-left Labor Party is leading the campaign after nine years of opposition, but recent polls show Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Liberal government closing the gap in the final stages of a difficult six – week campaign.
The Newspool poll, published by The Australian on election day, fell to Labor’s 53 to 47 for the ruling coalition compared to other polls.
Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese intensified their tours in the final two days of a campaign dominated by the cost of living, climate change, national security and integrity.
As the Labor Party focused on reducing rising inflation and wage growth, Morrison reduced unemployment rates to the lowest level in almost half a century in the final hours of his campaign. Inflation is more than twice as high as wages, and real incomes are lower.
“People are really suffering, this government is far from real,” Albanese told ABC television on Saturday. “This country can not stand three more years … Give workers a chance.”
Morrison said labor policies would increase upward pressure on inflation and widen the deficit.
“It increases the pressure on the cost of living and ultimately means higher taxes because (labor) they always follow you when you can not manage the money,” he told Channel Nine.
While the economy is a major issue, many so-called “senior libertarians” are pushing for more liberal domination and calling for action on climate change in the wake of Australia’s worst floods and fires.
In the outgoing parliament, the Liberal-National Alliance won 76 of the 151 seats in the House of Representatives, while Labor won 68 seats, with seven members for smaller parties and independents.
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