Counting begins in Australia election

Canberra, July 2 (IANS) The voting has ended in Australia’s federal election and the result is too close to call, early results suggest.

More than 10 million people cast ballots on Saturday, on top of the four million who voted early, BBC reported.

Early results from east coast and south Australian polling booths indicate a neck-and-neck race between the two major parties.

Minor party candidates are also taking seats and a hung parliament is possible.

Labor is likely to improve upon the 55 seats it currently holds in the lower house, after gaining seats in Tasmania and New South Wales.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s claims that the government intended to dismantle Australia’s public health system, Medicare, was widely being credited with creating a late swing to Labor.

The government is polling more strongly in Queensland, while Senator Nick Xenophon’s newly formed pro-protectionism party is doing well in South Australia.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party has also seen strong results in Queensland, with the controversial politician likely to return to parliament as a senator.



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