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Votes counted in cliffhanger Australian election

Exit polls show the ruling conservatives neck and neck with the Labor opposition party.

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Votes counted in cliffhanger Australian election

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Australians voted on Saturday (July 2) to elect a new government and every single ballot being counted could swing the result one way or another.

Exit polls showed the conservative-led coalition neck and neck with the opposition Labor party.

More than 10 million people were expected to vote today in this hotly contested election.

Australia has had five prime ministers since 2010.

Saturday’s early election was prompted after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who leads the Liberal Party, dissolved parliament in May in a bid to cement his majority in parliament.

This week, Turnbull waved the Brexit card, saying that given the global uncertainty caused by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, Australia needed stability.

But early counting showed a swing to the opposition Labor Party, adding to fears a close vote will deny him the outright majority he needs to enact major economic reforms.

Turnbull’s gamble could backfire as his coalition faces a strong challenge – not only from Labor Party chief Bill Shorten, but also from independents who could hold the balance of power.

With Reuters