Voting opened in Australia’s general election.
Polling booths across the country opened to millions of Australians at 8 a.m. on Saturday and will remain open until 6 p.m. when counting of votes will start, Xinhua news agency reported.
In order to form a majority government, either the coalition or the Labor must win at least 76 out of 151 seats in the lower house of Parliament — the House of Representatives.
According to Australia’s opinion poll Newspoll published on Friday evening, the Labor leads the coalition 53-47 on a two-party preferred basis.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese were tied in their personal battle, with 42 per cent of respondents picking each as their preferred Prime Minister.
The poll found that 36 per cent of voters intend to vote for the Labor as their first preference and 35 per cent for the coalition.
If neither the Labor nor the coalition wins enough seats to form a clear majority, the election result will be declared a “hung parliament”.
In that case, both Morrison and Albanese will enter negotiations with minor parties and independent Members of Parliament seeking their support to form a minority government as the Labor did in 2010.
It is mandatory for all Australians aged 18 years and above to vote in the election. According to the Australian Electoral Commission, more than 17 million people have enrolled to vote this year.