Voting is underway in Australia’s first general election since political infighting ousted the nation’s fourth leader in a decade. Australia has mandatory voting and a record 16.4 million enrolled voters. Around 7,000 polling stations have been set up across the nation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made economic management the centerpiece of the campaign for his conservative Liberal-National coalition, which has held power since 2013. He faces Labor leader Bill Shorten.
If Morrison does survive the vote, he’ll be revered as a one-man election-winning machine, who fought and won largely on his own. If he loses, Australia will have its fourth prime minister in just four years.
Voting closes at 6 pm local time in each Australian state and territory – the first results will be expected soon afterwards. Australian elections always take place on Saturdays.
The nation holds elections every three years, but no prime minister has succeeded in serving a full term since 2007.