Voters head to polls in close-run Australian election

TEHRAN, May 21 (MNA) – Polls have opened in the Australian election, with a tight contest expected between the incumbent Liberal-National coalition of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the opposition Labor party under Anthony Albanese.

Australians were voting in a national election on Saturday, with opinion polls showing the opposition Labor Party narrowly ahead of the ruling conservative coalition although a strong showing by climate-focused independents could mean a hung parliament, Reuters reported.

Center-left Labor held a decent lead going into the campaign after nine years in opposition, but recent polls showed Prime Minister Scott Morrison's Liberal-National government narrowing the gap in the final stretch of a tough, six-week campaign.

A Newspoll survey by The Australian newspaper out on election day showed Labor's lead dipping a point to 53-47 on a two-party-preferred basis against the ruling coalition, largely in line with other election polls.

In-person voting at polling booths in suburban schools, beachside pavilions, and outback halls will end at 6 p.m. (0800 GMT).

Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese cast their votes in Sydney late in the morning after making whistle-stop tours across marginal seats in the final two days of a campaign dominated by rising living costs, climate change, and integrity.

RHM/PR

News Code 187009

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