Australians will head to the polls on May 18 to elect their next leader. The election comes with a chance to reset after a decade of political turmoil “Down Under”. In 12 years, infighting in both major parties has resulted in six changes of the nation’s prime minister, the latest being Malcolm Turnbull who was replaced by Scott Morrison.
Since 2010, no fewer than five prime ministers have been in and out of office.
Four of those changes were brought on by brutal party coups which affected both sides of politics.
But rule changes within both parties – the left-leaning Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the centre-right Liberal Party of Australia – means that whoever wins the forthcoming election should be the first leader since 2007 to serve a full term.
All 151 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 of the 76 seats in the Senate will be up for grabs.
Who will win the Australia election?
The election pits current Prime Minister Scott Morrison (leader of the Liberal-National coalition) against Labor Party leader Bill Shorten.
As it stands, Labor is ahead in the polls, but is facing pressure from the centre-right coalition with policies including tax cuts, public spending and tackling climate change.
Both Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten are seeking an outright majority in the 151-seat House of Representatives to win office.
Neither can afford to lose seats and the election will be decided in a clutch of constituencies held by narrow margins.
The opposition Labor Party retained a narrow lead over the conservative coalition government in a poll conducted by Newspoll on Monday, May 13.
The poll put Labor ahead of Liberal-National coalition with 51 percent against 49 percent.
The result is unchanged from the past two weeks on a two-party preferred basis.
This means that as it stands, Labor would end up with 77 seats, one more than the 76 needed to form government.
The poll surveyed 1,644 voters across Australia on May 9 to 12. The maximum sampling error was plus or minus 2.4-percentage points.
When will results be announced?
Unless the result is extremely close, the election result will be clear on Saturday – the same day as the vote take place.
Australia practices compulsory voting to ensure high rates of participation.
For this election, a record 96.8 percent of eligible voters – more than 16 million people – are enrolled to cast a ballot.