Published On: Fri, May 17th, 2019

Australian election 2019 latest news: Australia poll result LIVE from Labor and Liberal | World | News


After six years in the political wilderness Australian bookies are predicting a return to power for Labor in a campaign which has put climate change at the forefront of the agenda. Current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has placed the economy at the heart of his bid to reclaim power for his conservative Liberal-National coalition. Mr Morrison’s coalition, which has held power since 2013, looks likely to be reaching the end of its tenure.

Polls opened at 8am (11pm BST on Friday) and will close at 6pm (9am BST).

In a nation where voting is compulsory turnout will inevitably be high before the result is announced on Saturday evening.

The death of Labor Party stalwart and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, who was known for his larger-than-life persona and pioneering policies, has buoyed Labor leader Bill Shorten who said it had made him more determined than ever.

Prime Ministerial hopeful Mr Shorten told Channel Nine: “I already feel a responsibility to millions of people to win.

“But sure, I want to do it for Bob as well. I don’t want to let his memory down.”

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While it seems unlikely Mr Hawke’s death will have a direct impact on how voters cast their ballots in the South Pacific nation, the sombre death comes at an opportune time as the popular political figure touted Labor shortly before passing in a timely intervention.

A mishmash of contradictions, the well-known womaniser and feminist who served as leader of the country from 1983 to 1991, passed away age 89.

Amid the political legend’s death Labor’s Mr Shorten seems to have struck a chord with voters who feel financially left behind and are worried about the environment with his promise to cut both greenhouse gases, in one of the biggest carbon dioxide emitters, and generous tax concessions enjoyed by the wealthy.

Whereas current leader Scott Morrison has attacked Labor’s policy as an attack on people’s aspirations.

Opinion polls indicate that Mr Morrison has narrowed Labor’s lead during the campaign, but many voters are still angry about the ousting of his socially moderate predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, in a backbench revolt last August.

READ MORE: Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke dies aged 89

Mr Turnbull was the second Prime Minister to be ousted while in office by the ruling Liberal Party amid deep divisions over climate and energy policy.

While polls show most Australians support stronger action to tackle climate change, Mr Morrison’s coalition strongly supports the coal industry.

Morrison has said Australia would meet its commitment under the Paris Accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 26 percent and 28 percent on 2005 levels, but says more ambitious targets would damage the economy.

Mr Shorten said if elected his government would aim to cut carbon emissions by 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

With about 17 million eligible voters, the Electoral Commission will operate more than 7,000 polling stations in venues such as surf clubs, schools and public halls.

There will also be about 90 voting centres overseas.

A time difference of two hours between the east and west coasts means voting centres in Western Australia will still be open as the initial counts start coming on the populous east coast.



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