Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the country’s 45th federal election, hoping his Liberal Party can win a third term. All 131 seats in the House of Representatives are at stake along with 40 of the 76 seats in the Senate. Mr Morrison’s conservative party faces a tough fight from its main rival Labor, under Bill Shorten, after years of wage stagnation and inequality in the country.
The campaign is likely to centre on the key issues of taxation, climate change and inequality.
The Liberals are currently in a coalition with the National Party of Australia, previously known as the Country Party and National Country Party.
Mr Morrison told reporters on Thursday: “The election will determine the economy that Australians live in, not just for the next three years, but for the next decade.
“We live in the best country in the world, but to secure your future, the road ahead depends on a strong economy. That is why there is so much at stake.”
When is Australia election – what time do polls open and close?
The Australian election 2019 has been called for Saturday, May 18.
According to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), polling places will open between 8am and close at 6pm.
They are usually located in venues such as schools, church halls or public buildings.
AEC has issued a timetable for the key election dates, which you can find below.
The next big deadline is the close of rolls at 8pm on Thursday, April 18.
More than 16 million Australians are currently enrolled to vote out of a total 25 million-strong population.
Voter turnout is extremely high at 95 percent of the population and that is because of mandatory voting.
Australian law states persons aged 18 and over who can vote must do so otherwise they risk facing a fine.
What do the polls say about who will win?
Centre-left Labour has been ahead in the polls for years and if they are to be believed, then Mr Morrison’s government is heading for a resounding defeat.
Political science professor Paul Williams from Griffith University in Brisbane said: “It’s an enormous mountain to climb.
“If Morrison were to pull this off it would be one of the greatest comebacks in political history.”