Morrison, Albanese make final campaign pitches ahead of Australia election

Sydney, Australia, May 20 (EFE).- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition Labor leader Anthony Albanese made their final campaign pitches on Friday on the eve of what is predicted to be a tight general election dominated by the rising cost of living.

An Ipsos survey published Friday by the Australian Financial Review indicates that the Labor Party is favorite with 36 percent, while the ruling Liberal-National coalition, which has governed the country since 2013, has 35 percent, when taken taking into account all political parties, but excluding undecided voters.

When the calculations are narrowed to the two main parties, Labor has 53 percent support and the coalition 47 percent, while Albanese leads Morrison by three percentage points as the preferred prime minister.

Despite the advantage, Morrison is confident of victory on Saturday similar to that of 2019, when the polls put Labor as favorite, but which he won thanks to the votes of what he calls the “quiet” Australian.

“Polls don’t determine elections and neither do politicians and neither do journalists,” Morrison told ABC from Perth on Friday, insisting that these “quiet” voters can trust in a government that he claimed has demonstrated economic competence.

Even though Australia’s GDP is set to grow 4.25 percent this year and the unemployment rate is 3.9 percent, high inflation – up 5.1 percent in the fiscal year to March 2022 – has marked campaign debates.

“We knew that this election was going to be close, but I say that people have a real choice here,” Albanese said.

“They have a choice for a better future with our measures to deal with the cost of living, with cheaper childcare, cheaper energy prices, cheaper medicines, our plan for more secure work, our plan to strengthen Medicare, our plan to make more things here, and our plan to end the climate wars, and in addition, our plan to fix politics by having a national anti-corruption commission.”

An internal study of the Labor Party, which has 69 of the 151 seats in parliament, predicts that they will win a slim majority of 76 to 80 seats, according to information published Friday by news.com.au.

Some 17 million of the 25.7 million people who live in Australia are registered to vote in this election in which voting is mandatory. More than 4.6 million have cast early votes to renew the entire House of Representatives and elect 40 of 76 members of the Senate, according to official data.

The Australian Electoral Commission authorized telephone voting on Friday for people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and long waits are expected due to the complex voting system. EFE wat/tw

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