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Australia to decide next PM

08-20-2010 18:44 BJT

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On the final day of the Australian election campaign, Prime Minister Julia Gillard may face a backlash from her voters in her battle with Opposition leader Tony Abbot. Voting will begin in the country's eastern states early Saturday morning.

The contest to be decided is one of the closest in decades. Opinion polls so far suggest a narrow Labor majority. Analysts say they are all within a margin of error at 50 percent and who will win is hard to predict.

Some voters say they have lingering regrets over Gillard's unprecedented power grab when she unseated Kevin Rudd, and her policy direction on climate change. But most analysts expect her center-left Labor Party to hang on to power for a second three-year term with a slim majority.

Abbott, who embarked on what he said would be 36 straight hours of campaigning through Friday, says he is clearly "the underdog".

Tony Abbot, Conservative Party, said, "I am the underdog. I think that out there, the public are very disappointed with the government. I think that they're very concerned about the way our democracy has been taken over by the faceless men of the labor factions."

Julia Gillard, Australian Prime Minister, said, "Australians will make the choice tomorrow and there are two choices. They can endorse my positive plan for the future and my investments in health and education and building the national broadband network. Or they can endorse Mr. Abbott with all of the risks that brings, the risk of work choices, increases in the price of groceries through his increased company tax and of course cuts to health and education. That's the choice."


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