As the Australian are voting in the federal election 2019, the first exit poll shows opposition Labor party ahead of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison-led coalition with 52-48 ratio.
As Australia has experienced some of the worst effects of climate change in recent few years, from deadly bush fires to the destruction of natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, the climate change issue had taken centre stage in the run-up to today’s polls.
According to Ipsos poll, concern about climate change is now at a 10-year high among Australians, with 64% believing it should be a top priority for the government.
The Labor party has promised to cut Australia’s carbon emissions by 45% on 2005 levels, compared to the government’s minimum pledge of 26%.
Meanwhile, Labor party has lodges complaint about Chinese signs telling voters to vote Liberal in Chisholm.
Land of the never-ending ballot paper
It is a norm in every Australian election that a large number of minor parties run for seats in the upper house, known as the Senate.
This time too many bizarre minor parties are running for the chance in 2019, including Love Australia or Leave party, Yellow Vest Australia party and the Pirate Party Australia to name a few.
All these small parties leave ballot papers several feet long — frustrating voters as they try to tick all the boxes.
Bob Hawke’s impact on elections
Less than 48 hours before polls opened, one of Australia’s longest-serving and best-loved prime ministers passed away.
Bob “Hawkie” Hawke was a joker, beer drinker and reformist Labor Prime Minister, and long after leaving office in 1991 he was still much admired by Australians.
It’s hard to tell whether Hawke’s death will affect the election but both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor’s Bill Shorten have lavished praise on the former leader.
Secret video ensnares far-right leader
Far-right leader Heinz-Christian Strache was accused of offering business deals to a woman claiming to be Russian in exchange for her help in Austria’s 2017 election.
According to German media, they had seen a secret recording showing far-right Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache offering lucrative business deals to a woman posing as a Russian oligarch’s niece.
In minute-long extracts of the seven-hour video, which was reportedly filmed on the Spanish island of Ibiza, Strache, his wife, and fellow Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) politician Johan Gudenus can be seen drinking and talking with the woman and another man.
The meeting took place in July 2017, just months before Austrian national elections that propelled Strache into the government as the junior partner of conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel did not reveal the source of the video to protect their identity.