Australia election: Ruling conservative coalition narrows gap with the main opposition Labor Party

Edited By: Vyomica Berry
Sydney, Australia Updated: May 18, 2022, 11:46 AM(IST)

Staff members assist voters arriving to cast their ballots ahead of the national election at an Australian Electoral Commission early voting centre, in the Central Business District of Sydney, Australia Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Three days before the country decides on a new government, a poll for the Sydney Morning Herald showed that the centre-left Labor's lead over the Liberal-National coalition, which was 54-46 per cent two weeks ago, has shrunk to 51-49 per cent on a two-party preferred basis

The national election in Australia is turning out to be a tight race in the final stretch of the campaign with the ruling conservative coalition narrowing the gap with the main opposition Labor Party.

Three days before the country decides on a new government, a poll for the Sydney Morning Herald showed that the centre-left Labor's lead over the Liberal-National coalition, which was 54-46 per cent two weeks ago, has shrunk to 51-49 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

Another poll by 'The Guardian' indicated that it had dipped a point to 48 per cent showing the election has become too close to call.

Describing the pre-polling trends as "really encouraging", Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed confidence that his party will win the election.

Official data showed that out of 17 million voters in Australia, almost 6 million have already cast their ballots.

In comparison to 2019, an additional 1.1 million postal or early in-person votes have been received so far.

Also read | Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces housing policy before general election

Referring to the additional time required to count postal votes, Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said "If it's close, this level of postal votes makes an election night indication of who forms government less likely." 

Acknowledging the close call in the election, shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers told ABC television "We'll be working our butts off all the way up to the close of polls." 

The surge in inflation in Australia has caused angst among voters as it has surged twice as fast as wages which has kept real income in the red.

(With inputs from agencies)

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