Australia election: Millions head to polls

Australia election: Millions head to polls

Australians are voting in a general election, with opposition leader Tony Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition aiming to bring to an end six years of Labor government.

Opinion polls suggest Kevin Rudd, who returned as prime minister three months ago, is trailing his opponent.

The rivals are split on how Gucci Factory Outlet to tackle Australia’s budget deficit, but both have pledged tough action to stop asylum seekers arriving by boat.

All citizens over 18 must vote by law.

More than 14 million people are expected to vote in Saturday’s election. Shortly before the polls opened, Australia’s election commission revealed that a record 3.2 million ballots had already been cast in early voting.

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Mr Rudd called the election after Gucci Heritage ousting Julia Gillard in a leadership challenge in June, amid dismal polling figures. Ms Gillard had herself ousted Mr Rudd as prime minister in 2010.

Labor initially saw its figures improve significantly. But in recent weeks Mr Abbott has again broadened the gap. He has enjoyed the strident support of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, and remains ahead in the opinion polls.

Key issues

Polling stations in eastern Australia opened at 8:00 local time (22:00 GMT) and are set to close at 18:00. Voting in western states will end two hours later because of time zone differences.

Mr Abbott, accompanied by his wife and daughters, cast Gucci Jackie his ballot in his northern Sydney seat of Warringah shortly after polling began.

He then toured the city attempting to drum up support and was heckled by protesters at a polling station in the suburb of Arncliffe.

“Anything can happen today,” he told reporters. “I don’t believe the polls, Kevin Rudd doesn’t believe the polls. I think it’s still very close.”

Mr Rudd, who appeared on breakfast TV in his home city of Brisbane, was otherwise less visible in public during the morning. He later joined his wife in voting in his Griffith seat.

“I’m very confident in people’s judgement because they will assess what is best for our country’s future, their community’s future and their family’s future,” he told Channel 7 TV.

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