Polls open for Australia's general elections

09:42, August 21, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Polls opened Saturday morning for Australia's federal elections for the 43rd Parliament amidst a poll-suggestion that Prime Minister Julia Gillard-led Labor Party is running neck-and-neck with Tony Abbott-led Coalition.

A voter casts the ballot at the Seabrook Primary School in Melbourne, Australia, Aug. 21, 2010. Polls opened Saturday morning for Australia's federal elections for the 43rd Parliament amidst a poll-suggestion that Prime Minister Julia Gillard led Labor Party is running neck-and-neck with Tony Abbott led Coalition. (Xinhua/Huang Xiaoyong)

About 14 million voters will choose from 1,198 candidates for all the 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 of the 76- member Senate.

Polls opened at 8 a.m. (AEST) on Saturday (2200 GMT Friday) and will last till 6 p.m.

Polling stations have been set up at 7,700 locations which have stockpiled 43 million ballot papers and will be supervised by some 70,000 temporary electoral staff.

As voters are heading to polling stations around the country, Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) New South Wales state manager Doug Orr said Sydney's Central Business District is expected to record about 8,000 votes, the most for any New South Wales polling station, where voters will be overwhelmed in the area.

This will be only the second August election in 109 years of Australian Federation. The last time on August 21 was exactly 67 years ago in 1943, when former prime minister John Curtin was elected during World War II.

According to Australian Associated Press, this year's election has been the tightest one in decades.

A Nielsen poll, published in News Ltd papers on Saturday, showed Prime Minister Julia Gillard's Labor government ahead of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's coalition on a two-party-preferred basis by 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent.

The opposition party needs to win 17 additional seats in the House of Representatives to beat the Labor Party and form a majority government.

Gillard on the last day of election campaign repeatedly labeled Abbott a risk to voters, warning them he will bring back Work Choices, make cuts to health and education, scrap the National Broadband Network and push up prices.

Meanwhile, Abbott attacked on Gillard saying it was Labor who will damage the country.

"Frankly, the only risk in this election is that a really bad government might get the second chance that it doesn't deserve, and that Australia can't afford," Abbott told reporters in Sydney.

"I want to say that we would do a better job, and I think that what we would do starting on day one is we'd end the waste, we'd pay back the debt, we'd stop the big new taxes and we'd stop the boats."

A Labor victory would see a 30 percent mining tax on big iron ore and coal mines, a possible carbon trading scheme to combat climate change after 2012, and a 38 billion dollars (34 billion U. S. dollars) national high-speed broadband network.

Australia under a Coalition government would scrap the mining tax, not introduce a carbon price, and introduce tougher border security by reopening South Pacific detention camps for asylum seekers.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Staff members watch a screen showing the blast-off of the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
  • On Sept. 28, tourists travel around the Mingshashan Scenic Area in Dunhuang, Gansu province by camel. With the National Day vacation right around the corner, more and more tourists from home and abroad are going to Dunhuang. Riding on a camel, they travel in the desert to enjoy the cities rare form of natural scenery. (Xinhua/Zhang Weixian)
  • Chinese forest armed forces work together with forest firefighters on Sept. 28. (Xinhua/Chai Liren)
Hot Forum Discussion