People in Australia are voting in a national election, with opinion polls showing the opposition Labor Party narrowly ahead of the ruling conservative coalition.
Analysts have, however, said that a strong showing by climate-focussed independents could mean a hung parliament in Saturday’s polls.
Reuters reports that the centre-left Labor party held a decent lead going into the campaign after nine years in opposition, but recent polls showed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National government narrowing the gap in the final stretch of a tough, six-week campaign.
A Newspoll survey by The Australian newspaper out on election day showed Labor’s lead dipping a point to 53-47 on a two-party-preferred basis against the ruling coalition, largely in line with other election polls.
In-person voting at polling booths in suburban schools, beachside pavilions and outback halls will end at 6 pm (0800 GMT).
Mr Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese cast their votes in Sydney late in the morning (Saturday) after making whistle-stop tours across marginal seats in the final two days of a campaign dominated by rising living costs, climate change and integrity.
Initial results could be known by Saturday evening
Editing by Tony Okerafor.