Voters head to polls open in close-run Australian election | Elections News

Sydney, Australia – Polls have opened within the Australian election, with a decent contest anticipated between the incumbent Liberal-Nationwide coalition of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the opposition Labor celebration underneath Anthony Albanese.

Labor have led opinion polls all through the marketing campaign, however the hole has narrowed with Morrison’s coalition making up floor forward of election day.

Morrison is aiming to develop into the primary Prime Minister to win two elections in a row since John Howard in 2004.

Voting is obligatory in Australia and simply over 17.2 million folks have enrolled to vote in response to the Australian Electoral Fee (AEC).

Document numbers of voters have already solid their ballots at early voting centres or through postal votes, and greater than half of the full votes had been solid by Friday night, in response to the fee. Polls shut throughout the nation at 6pm, which is 08:00 GMT in Sydney and 10:00 GMT on the west coast.  The end result could possibly be generally known as quickly as Saturday night.

Narrowing polls and the emergence of impartial candidates has raised the potential of a hung parliament.

Labor or the Liberal-Nationwide coalition require 76 seats within the decrease home to kind a authorities, something much less and they might want to barter with smaller events and independents in an effort to attempt to kind a minority authorities.

A man in a wetsuit and surf board joins the queue to vote at a Bondi Beach polling station
A robust displaying for independents may result in a hung parliament, amid disatisfaction over the most important events’ positions on local weather change [Mark Baker/AP Photo]

The marketing campaign has targeted closely on the rising price of residing, with Australia experiencing its highest inflation price in 21 years, and the central financial institution elevating rates of interest.

Morrison has argued that his dealing with of the economic system is a significant cause for voters to again him once more, pointing to document low unemployment charges.

He’s additionally proposing a scheme to permit younger folks early entry to their superannuation funds to purchase property and get a foot on the housing ladder.

Involved for future

Labor, in the meantime, has attacked the federal government’s financial document, highlighting how wages will not be rising quick sufficient to fulfill the elevated price of residing.

“As a latest grandfather I’m involved concerning the future generations and the financial insurance policies of the most important events aren’t addressing that,” Brian Silver, a instructor voting in Sydney informed Al Jazeera.

The rising price of residing is filtering into all areas of life, with voters involved concerning the impacts on their on a regular basis expenditure.

“Childcare is a key concern for me. I really want it, I must know it’s out there however it’s simply so costly”, mentioned Lauren, who most popular solely to share her first identify, outdoors a polling station in North Sydney.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese cuddles a dog and laughs as he meets supporters outside a polling station in Melbourne in M
Opposition chief Anthony Albanese (centre) is hoping voters will again Labor to kind the federal government for the primary time since 2013 [Wendell Teodoro/AFP]

Australians have additionally expressed rising concern about local weather change.

The nation has seen its results first-hand, with Morrison’s time in cost dominated by excessive bushfires in 2019-20 and up to date main flooding in Queensland and New South Wales.

Lots of the impartial candidates within the election have campaigned solely on the premise of local weather change, providing completely different options to the issue in contrast with the 2 main events.

“Local weather change is one thing we actually want to take a look at, particularly getting electrical vehicles into Australia. We want a quick uptake of them and we’d like charging stations to be created. That’s one thing the federal government can do,” Tim, who most popular solely to share his first identify, informed Al Jazeera forward of voting in North Sydney.

A excessive variety of impartial candidates are working in historically Liberal seats, with excessive profile and properly funded campaigns elevating their profiles.

“I’m voting for the impartial right here, Kylea Tink”, defined Katie Archer, a voter in North Sydney.

“I actually like her insurance policies on the subject of local weather change, I feel she is de facto progressive. Whereas Scott Morrison, it simply all the time seems like he’s caring for himself and his personal again and never placing the inhabitants first.”

Attitudes and insurance policies in direction of Indigenous peoples are additionally on the agenda at this election, with Aboriginal teams persevering with to demand land rights and recognition because the nation’s first folks within the structure.

It is a matter which may additionally add to the drift away from the 2 major events.

“While each Liberal and Labor level fingers at each other over who’s doing the least for First Nations folks, the minor events akin to The Greens and the newly fashioned Indigenous Social gathering of Australia are providing extra tangible-practical insurance policies and options to impact change to our most marginalised and oppressed communities across the nation,” mentioned Indigenous activist Lynda-June Coe.

On the eve of election day, a lot of excessive profile Australian newspapers endorsed both Morrison or Albanese.

There was assist within the extra right-wing and enterprise press for Morrison and his Liberal-Nationwide coalition, with each The Australian and The Australian Monetary Evaluation calling for the Prime Minister to be re-elected, with the latter describing him as ‘Australia’s greatest guess’.

In the meantime, The Age newspaper, based mostly within the second greatest metropolis of Melbourne, gave its backing to Labor in an editorial titled; ‘For integrity’s sake, Australia wants a change of presidency’.

The Sydney Morning Herald, its sister publication, additionally backed Albanese, saying that ​​’on steadiness, the nation wants a change’.

Marcos Jr wraps up Philippine election campaign as win expected | News

The prospect of Ferdinand Marcos Jr transferring into the presidential palace has alarmed rights activists and church leaders.

The son of late Philippine chief Ferdinand Marcos wrapped up his presidential election marketing campaign on Saturday with a raucous rally of a whole lot of hundreds of supporters, as polls present him heading in the direction of a landslide election win.

Victory in Monday’s election would cap a decades-long effort to rehabilitate the Marcos legacy after the patriarch was deposed and the disgraced household was chased into exile within the US.

The prospect of Ferdinand Marcos Jr transferring again into the presidential palace in Manila has alarmed rights activists, church leaders and political analysts who worry Marcos Jr may rule “with out constraint”.

A whole bunch of hundreds of red-clad Marcos supporters gathered on a dusty wasteland neglected by a gleaming luxurious on line casino resort on Saturday – a stark reminder of the nation’s huge revenue hole. Wielding nationwide flags, they gathered earlier than a stage that includes an unlimited display of the smiling candidate as Filipino reggae, hip-hop and pop performed at deafening ranges.

“We’ll win so long as you keep awake on Monday so there received’t be one other tragedy,” Marcos instructed the group, referring to his claims that he was cheated of victory within the 2016 vice presidential race.

The outstanding return of the Marcos household from pariahs to the height of political energy within the Philippines has been fuelled by public anger about corruption and poverty that persevered below governments that adopted his father’s dictatorship.

Photo from 1985 shows then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda [File photo: Romeo Gacad/ AFP]
Picture from 1985 exhibits then Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his spouse Imelda [File photo: Romeo Gacad/ AFP]

Marcos Jr has run a tightly managed marketing campaign, skipping televised debates with rivals and largely shunning media interviews to keep away from personal targets earlier than election day.

An unlimited and well-funded social media misinformation marketing campaign concentrating on a principally younger voters with no reminiscence of his father’s violent dictatorship and corrupt rule has additionally sought to rewrite the household’s historical past.

‘Six years of hell’

Human rights defenders and lots of Catholic clergymen have pushed publicly to cease Marcos Jr returning to the seat of energy in Malacanang Palace, the place he grew up.

“It is going to be one other six years of hell,” warned political satirist and activist Mae Paner, 58, who was a part of a preferred rebellion that ended the earlier Marcos regime.

Ten candidates are vying to succeed present President Rodrigo Duterte within the landmark elections seen by many as a make-or-break second for Philippine democracy.

Polls have indicated Marcos Jr will win greater than half the votes, which might make him the primary presidential candidate to safe an absolute majority since his father was deposed by a “folks energy” motion in 1986.

Analysts have warned that such an end result would result in weaker democratic checks and balances, extra corruption and a contemporary try to overhaul the 1987 structure – which may embody scrapping the one-term restrict for presidents.

Earlier administrations, together with Duterte’s, have tried to amend the structure, however they lacked enough assist in Congress to push by means of adjustments.

The most recent ballot by Pulse Asia Analysis confirmed Marcos Jr on 56 % – 33 proportion factors forward of his nearest rival Leni Robredo, who narrowly beat him within the 2016 vice-presidential race.

Such a successful margin would give Marcos Jr the facility to “govern the way in which Duterte wished to”, one longtime observer of Philippine politics instructed AFP.

“That’s, with out constraint,” he stated.

Robredo’s current ballot bump has raised hopes amongst progressive supporters that their volunteer-driven marketing campaign may but ship an upset.

However pollster Ana Maria Tabunda of Pulse Asia Analysis gave Robredo little hope.

“Our error margin is simply plus or minus two proportion factors – given the big hole, it’s not going to be affecting the outcomes,” Tabunda stated.

Philippines election: Is democracy at stake? | TV Shows

On Wednesday, Could 4 at 19:30 GMT:
This week the Philippines will head into the ultimate days of a presidential election that some analysts say might alter the state of liberal democracy within the Asian nation.

Main the polls is Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whose title carries his father’s legacy of army dictatorship. In a rustic onerous hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, many Filipinos are more and more nostalgic for a return to a Marcos presidency, regardless of its previous affiliation with human rights abuse and corruption.

The highest challenger to Marcos Jr. is present Vice President and unbiased candidate Leni Robredo, whose “pink revolution” marketing campaign for democracy, girls’s rights and anti-violence has gained traction with younger voters embittered with the previous six years of President Rodrigo Duterte and his warfare on medicine.

On this episode of The Stream, we’ll focus on what Filipinos need of their subsequent president and what’s at stake on this yr’s election.

On this episode of The Stream, we communicate with:
Lian Buan, @lianbuan
Journalist, Rappler

Richard Heydarian, @Richeydarian
Tutorial & columnist

Regine Cabato, @RegineCabato
Reporter, The Washington Put up

Australia hikes interest rates in potential election shakeup | Business and Economy

Reserve Financial institution of Australia’s transfer means tens of millions of Australians face increased repayments on their dwelling loans.

Australia’s central financial institution has raised rates of interest for the primary time in additional than a decade, following the lead of a rising record of Asia-Pacific economies taking motion to tame rising inflation.

The Reserve Financial institution of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday raised the benchmark rate of interest to 0.35 %, up from a file low of 0.1 %.

The primary charge hike since late 2010 comes after Australia’s client costs surged on the quickest tempo in twenty years through the first quarter on the again of surging petrol, dwelling constructing and meals prices.

The upper benchmark charge – which displays the curiosity banks cost on loans to one another – means tens of millions of Australians will face increased repayments on their dwelling loans.

The typical holder of a 500,000 Australian greenback ($355,000) mortgage might pay an additional 65 Australian {dollars} ($46) a month in repayments if banks move on the upper rate of interest in full, in accordance with information from RateCity.

Mariano Kulish, an economics professor on the College of Sydney who previously labored on the RBA, mentioned the central financial institution’s choice marked a “massive change” from its comparatively relaxed stance on inflation only a few months beforehand.

“I believe there are two massive components,”  Kulish instructed Al Jazeera. “One is that financial coverage normalisation has already began in the US. Superior economies are involved.”

“I believe the final two readings of inflation… suggests they received a really massive shock and they’re involved with inflation changing into ingrained or extra persistent right here, so it justifies transferring sooner somewhat than later,” he mentioned.

Tim Harcourt, chief economist on the Institute for Public Coverage and Governance (IPPG) on the College of Know-how Sydney, mentioned the central financial institution had little selection however to announce a average charge hike as inflation has been working nicely forward of its 2-3 % goal.

“However this buys them area if the worldwide economic system slows all year long,” Harcourt instructed Al Jazeera. 

Australia’s annual charge of inflation hit 5.1 % within the January-March interval, the very best since 2001.

Whereas extensively anticipated, the RBA’s choice might have a big affect on the trajectory of Australia’s upcoming federal election on Could 21.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Nationwide Get together has been trailing the centre-left Labor Get together within the race, which is being fought on a variety of points, together with the rising value of dwelling.

The RBA final raised rates of interest in the course of an election race in 2007, throughout John Howard’s unsuccessful bid to safe a fifth consecutive time period in energy.

Forward of the RBA’s choice, Morrison mentioned voters would perceive that a rise in rates of interest could be as a result of world occasions and never his authorities’s dealing with of the economic system.

“The state of affairs that Australia faces is a state of affairs confronted all world wide and I believe Australians perceive that,” Morrison instructed reporters.

Reserve Financial institution governor Philip Lowe mentioned the mixture of excessive inflation figures and proof of enhancing wage progress known as for the normalising of rates of interest after years of being on emergency footing.

“The board is dedicated to doing what is important to make sure that inflation in Australia returns to focus on over time,” he mentioned in a post-meeting assertion.

Australia is the most recent Asia-Pacific economic system to lift rates of interest in current weeks, following South Korea, Singapore and New Zealand.