Voters take to the polls to decide between Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition Liberal National Coalition leader Tony Abbott
More than 14 million Australians have been casting their vote in a general election, with opposition leader Tony Abbott's Liberal-National coalition looking to end six years of Labor government.
The coalition is expected to end the night with nearly 100 seats, while early indications are that Labor is facing a swing of at least 4% against it, which would cost it between 14 and 25 seats.
"The show is well and truly over," former Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger told Sky News.
A Sky News/Newspoll exit poll predicted the opposition will win 97 seats, a 25-seat gain, while Labor will lose 21 seats and end up with only 51 MPs in parliament.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said that he was "very confident" that voters were wise and knew what they are doing.
"We put our best plans forward. Mr Abbott's put his alternatives and now it's for the people to decide," Rudd said during an interview with channel Nine's Today programme.
On the other hand, Abbott said that Australians were "yearning for change".
"Basically we're in the last minute of the grand final. One try could swing it. The game is see-sawing backwards and forward up and down the field, I don't think anyone should think this is over. You can't risk voting for a Labor candidate or for an independent and minor party candidate thinking that the Libs are going to get in anyway. There's no certainty in that."
Abbott cast his vote with his family - daughters Louise, her boyfriend Stefano, Bridget, Frances and his wife Margie:
Other voters lining up to cast their votes at the Freshwater surf club in the Opposition's Leader's Liberal heartland believe that Abbott will win in a landslide. "He seems a bit more solid, the other guy is just flip flopping all over the place," one voter told the Herald Sun.
"The most disappointing was the waste of money, they just made up policy on the run," said another, expressing his strong dislike for Labor. At a Southern Sydney school, Abbott was met by protesters shouting "Shame Abbott, shame". But his supporters were prompt to respond, chanting, "Tony, Tony, Tony."
However, Abbott was not the only one to be met with angry protesters as he cast his vote. Rudd was attacked by refugee advocates and families of 'pink batts' insulation victims, workers who were electrocuted while installing government-subsidised home insulation. Rudd decided to cast his vote during the last minute of the election, but he was unfortunately just in time for the refugees convening outside his polling station:
"Stop scapegoating refugees, you heartless bastard," one of the protesters shouted.
The majority of the protesters chanted: "Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here."
As for the family of pink batts victims, an uncle hold up a picture of one of the victims and told reporters that Rudd was a "dictator".
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It’s judgment day for Australians who will be casting their votes on today’s federal elections in a contest between Australian Labour Party’s Kevin Rudd, who is hoping for another fresh start, and the Coalition’s Tony Abbott who has long sought the position of Prime Minister.