Australia votes in close-fought election


            Sydney,:Australian election frontrunner Anthony Albanese asked voters heading to the polls Saturday to give his centre-left party a “crack” at running the country after a decade of conservative rule.

                  Albanese, the 59-year-old Labor Party leader, was visibly buoyant, saying he was “very positive” about the outcome as he urged people to turn away from a “divisive” Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

                  Morrison — behind in the pre-election polls — is telling voters to stick with him, boasting of a 48-year-low jobless rate of 3.9 percent in a resurgent post-lockdown economy and warning that Albanese is a “loose unit” incapable of managing the economy.

                  Three years ago, the 54-year-old Australian leader defied the polls in what he termed a “miracle election win”.

                  This time, though, the gap is a little wider.

                  “I believe we have the wind at our back, and I’m very positive about a good outcome,” Albanese said after casting his vote at a town hall in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville with his son, partner and pet dog.

                  “I’m in it to change the country and that’s what I intend to do,” he said.