Exit polls show Australian Labor Party leading in election

17:24, August 21, 2010      

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Two Australia local exit polls on Saturday showed Labor Party, so far, was leading in the federal election on a two party preferred basis.

According to an exclusive exit poll conducted by Sky News, Labor has been leading 51 percent to the Coalition's 49 percent on a two party preferred basis.

The poll, commissioned from Auspoll, was conducted in 30 key marginal seats. Auspoll analyst John Armitage said the race will go down to the wire.

"This batch of seats is a bit tougher for the Labor Party, a bit better for the Liberal party. So it would be more like 52-48 nation wide (to Labor)." Armitage told Sky News on Saturday.

While the poll indicates a Labor win, Armitage said any outcome is possible tonight.

"We've always got a couple of percent margin for error on these things, so really all I can say is the poll says a narrow Labor win but the range of possibilities are still a narrow Conservative victory through to probably comfortable Labor (win)," Armitage said.

Meanwhile, Nine Network's exit poll revealed that Labor Party has 52 percent lead over the Coalition of 48 percent in a two party preferred basis.

Both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbott have cast their votes as the nation waits for counting to start.

The first polls in Australia close at 6 p.m. (local time) in the populous states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, which are expected to decide the election. Other states will be closing polling booths at approximately two to three hours later.

The electoral commission Friday night said a record number of Australians have already voted. About two million of the 14 million who are enrolled have cast their ballot in a pre-poll vote process. In close seats between the two parties, it could mean the result may not be known on the election night.

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