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TURNBULL: 'The Coalition will form a majority government'

* Stars indicated a new face in the Federal Parliament.

 

WHERE WE STAND

  • Hung parliament a real possibility as result too close to call. 
  • Labor ahead on two party preferred vote
  • Wyatt Roy looks set to lose his south-east Queensland seat of Longman.
  • Windsor and Oakeshott fail in their challenges to seize Coalition seats. 
  • Senate likely to include Pauline Hanson and more Greens. 
  • Capricornia hangs in the balance and is still too close to call. 

 

12.24AM TURNBULL SAYS COALITION WILL FORM MAJORITY GOVERNMENT

MALCOLM Turnbull has fronted the party faithful in the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney saying his advice is that the Coaliltion will retain government. 

 

 

"I can report based on the advice I have from the party officials, we can have every confidence that we will form a Coalition majority Government in the next Parliament," Mr Turnbull said. 

"We have seen this before in 1998. And this is an experience not unknown in the parliamentary history of the Liberal Party.

"And of course the really critical thing is this, my friends - the values that we have and the policies that we brought to this election meet the challenges of our times.

"The Labor Party, the Labor Party ran some of the most systematic, well-funded lies ever peddled in Australia.

"We have never, the mass ranks of the union movement and all of their millions of dollars, telling vulnerable Australians that Medicare was going to be privatised or sold, frightening people in their bed and even today, even today, as voters went to the polls, as you would have seen in the press, there were text messages being sent to thousands of people across Australia saying that Medicare was about to be privatised by the Liberal Party."
 

Mr Turnbull then went on to say those texts came from Medicare and 'no doubt the police will investigate."

"So the hour is late. And I don't expect us to be waiting till 2am, until the final prepolls are counted. But, as I said, based on the advice I have from our officials and advisors and strategists within the party, I am confident that we will be able to form a majority government," he said. 

 

11.38PM SHORTEN SAYS TURNBULL HAS FAILED TO DELIVER STABILITY

 

 

LABOR Leader Bill Shorten has told supporters his party has been re-energized. 

"We have argued for our positive plans, and three years after the Liberals came to power in a landslide, they have lost their man mandate," Mr Shorten told Labor faithful in Melbourne. 

 

 

"Whatever happens next week, Mr Turnbull will never be able to claim that the people of Australia have adopted his ideological agenda.

"He will never again be able to promise the stability which he has completely failed to deliver tonight.

"Whatever happens next week, whether we are in Government or in Opposition, the Labor Party is re-energised, it is unified and it is more determined than ever. 

"And we promise the Australian people that from Government or indeed Opposition we will save Medicare."

After thanking his staff first and then his wife and family Mr Shorten said it was time for the Parliament to get back to work. 

 

 

Meanwhile when Shorten flashed onto the big screen at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney where the Liberal Party faithful will shortly hear from Malcolm Turnbull the crowd booed and hissed. 

 

 

"After the longest campaign in 50 years, it is time for our parliament to get back to work," he said.  

"Millions of Australians have voted for Labor, expecting us do just that.

"Labor ran for government as a strong and united team."

 

11.11PM COALITION'S STAR YOUNGSTER CUT DOWN

LABOR has claimed victory in Longman the man who had once been touted as a future MP and was the youngest person ever elected to Parliament, Wyatt Roy, appears to have lost his seat. 

His Labor opponent Susan Lamb has claimed victory although the AEC is yet to call the result in and Mr Roy has not conceded. 

"Well today was really a culmination of over 12 months of campaigning - speaking to people, listening to what their concerns are, listening to what their concerns were in their lives and what really mattered to them," she told supporters.

 

Susan Lamb claims victory in Longman
Susan Lamb claims victory in Longman

 

"Today was really enjoyable day. We knew what was important to people and we knew they were coming out to vote on those key issues.

"It's Medicare, health and hospitals. It is education and is about the infrastructure that's needed for us to work and live and that's the NBN. But that stuff didn't just come out it came out because we listened to people."

 

11.09PM: With more than 8 million votes counted Labor now lead the two party preferred vote. 

Although the final call on who forms government looks set to come down to preferences  one thing looks certain - this election will deliver anything but stable government.

A hung parliament, or a minority government all loom as succinct and quite real possibilities. 

So far we know the Coalition has won 73 seats - they need 76 are needed to claim victory.

Labor has won 68 seats, while other parties have five

Meanwhile four seats and the final call on who will form government remains in doubt.

 

What we know about the 2016 Federal Election, courtesy of The Conversation
What we know about the 2016 Federal Election, courtesy of The Conversation Emil Jeyaratnam, Fron Jackson-Webb, Michael Courts, Wes Mountain, of The Conversation

 

Seats including Batman, Capricornia, Cowan and Hindmarsh all remain in doubt.

The swing against the Coalition Government looks to have claimed a number of high profile casualties including Wyatt Roy in the Sunshine Coast seat of Longman and Ewan Jones in the Townsville-based seat Herbert.

The traditional election bellwether Eden-Monaro has gone to Labor even though they look unlikely to take government.

After 18 years in the political wilderness Pauline Hanson has taken a seat in the Senate. Radio shock-jock Derryn Hinch has also claimed victory in his senate race.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon has shaped as a potential kingmaker after his Nick Xenophon Team party won the lower house seat of Mayo and at least three senators in South Australia. 

 

 

10.50PM HOWARD PAYS TRIBUTE TO JAMIE BRIGGS

Former prime minister John Howard has paid tribute to his former staffer Jamie Briggs, who has lost his seat of Mayo.

Howard was surrounded by media as he turned up to the post-election Liberal function in Sydney moments ago.

"He fought a very strong, clear campaign and I congratulate him for that," he said.

"It looks as though a number of people I know very well have lost and I grieve for them. 

"I particularly grieve for the defeat of Andrew Nicolic, a wonderful brigadier  for the Australian Army, the member for Bass.

"Karen McNamara, who has been a wonderful representative in the Central Coast seat of Dobell and my former employee Jamie Briggs, who appears to have lost the seat of Mayo.

"Can I say to those who are hanging on as the count proceeds, to wait for thin outcomes, I wish them all the very best.

"But, as I said a moment ago, it is for the prime minister to speak on behalf of the Coalition in regard to the ver all campaign."

 

10.35PM JOYCE SAYS ELECTION EXHAUSTION OBVIOUS

BARNABY Joyce says not even the greatest boxer of all time would want to go another round of this election.

ABC's Annabel Crabb asked whether a second double dissolution would be preferable to forming government with such tight margins.

"That's a complete hypothetical," Joyce said.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce reacts as he visits Macadamia Processing Cooperative with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull near Ballina in the seat of Page, Friday, June 17, 2016. Jobs will again be the focus as Malcolm Turnbull heads to the NSW north coast, but this time with a $25 million pledge. The coalition hopes the $25 million investment will give businesses incentives to invest and help boost employment in the region. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce reacts as he visits Macadamia Processing Cooperative with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull near Ballina in the seat of Page, Friday, June 17, 2016. Jobs will again be the focus as Malcolm Turnbull heads to the NSW north coast, but this time with a $25 million pledge. The coalition hopes the $25 million investment will give businesses incentives to invest and help boost employment in the region. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING LUKAS COCH

"We've got pre-polls coming in… let's not go making discussions about that until the appropriate time.

"We've just had an eight week campaign. You want a few more weeks.

"I don't think even Mohammad Ali, God rest his soul, would want to do that."

The New England MP has already announced his victory over independent Tony Windsor.

 

10.29PM BOLT CALLS FOR TURNBULL TO RESIGN

THE results are not yet in, but conservative commentator Andrew Bolt has already called for Malcolm Turnbull to resign.

A long-term media ally of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Mr Bolt wrote on his blog that Mr Turnbull had "lost so many seats that you could even be forced into minority government".

"You went to the election with basically only one policy to sell - a pathetic 10-year promise to cut company tax," he wrote.

"And now look. Almost everything turned to ruin."

Mr Bolt's also wrote that Mr Turnbull had treated the Liberal party base "like dirt" and repeatedly humiliated Mr Abbott.

"You have asked for no mandate for real reform, and will have almost no power to undertake any," he wrote.

"Your popularity, already plummeting, will fall further."

The opinion piece will likely fuel standing divisions inside the Coalition, even if Mr Turnbull secures the Coalition a victory.

While final results were unlikely tonight, the Coalition lost ground, with Labor set to claim 63 seats to the government's 70 so far.

 

WANT MORE? Check out our coverage of election day, as we headed to the polls

 

9.51 JOYCE DECLARES VICTORY IN NEW ENGLAND

Barnaby Joyve has declared victory in the seat of New England. 

Joyce was facing a challenge from former independent Tony Windsor. 

 

9.37PM GREENS BELIEVE THEY'RE IN THE RUNNING FOR QLD SENATE SEAT

Richard Di Natale has told supporters he believes the Greens are in the running for a second Queensland Senate seat as he lauds what he's calling a best ever result for the party. 

 

9.30PM GREEN SAYS WE MAY NOT KNOW OUTCOME TONIGHT

ABC pollster Antony Green says we may not know who has won the Federal Election and will go on to form government for days to come. 

Will polls in several seats still on a knife's edge one thing is certain. The next four years in Canberra are sure to be interesting. 

Meanwhile on the Sunshine Coast Clive Palmer's seat of Fairfax has returned to the LNP as has Mal Brough's seat Fisher which will now be represented by Andrew Wallace. 

 

9.20PM WESTERN SYDNEY SEAT STAYS LABOR

The seat of Werriwa in south-west Sydney has gone with Labor candidate Anne Stanley fighting off a strong challenge from Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun. 

 

9PM INDEPENDENTS DAY IT IS NOT

ROB Oakeshott and Tony Windsor have failed in their attempts to get back into parliament.

The two independents controversially bowed out of politics before the 2013 election after they backed Julia Gillard in the 2010 hung parliament.

 

Tony Windsor speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Source AAP.
Tony Windsor speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Thursday, March 10, 2016. Source AAP.

 

Mr Oakeshott was the bookie's favourite on election day to beat sitting Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker in Cowper.

Mr Hartsuyker won 45% of the primary vote compared to Mr Oakeshott's 26%.

 

Independent Federal Minister for Lyne Rob Oakeshott
Independent Federal Minister for Lyne Rob Oakeshott Jeard Williams

Mr Windsor's challenge on Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in New England ended similarly.

Mr Joyce received 51% of the primary vote - defeating Mr Windsor who won 29%. 

 

8.50PM ANALYSIS: TURNBULL NEEDED A VICTORY FOR 

>>GRATTAN: Turnbull needed election win to secure his place as PM

Meanwhile Tracey Arkley writes that regional electorates in New South Wales and Queensland are emerging as key marginal seats in this election. 

>>Regional electorates emerge as new key players

 

8.45PM MCVEIGH CLAIMS GROOM

The LNP has held the seat of Groom with new candidate John McVeigh stepping into the shoes left by Ian Macfarlane. 

John McVeigh MP is a fan of the Federal Budget.
John McVeigh MP is a fan of the Federal Budget. Bev Lacey

 

8.39PM STILL TOO CLOSE TOO SAY WHO'LL FORM GOVERNMENT

THE election remains on a knife edge with the Labor Party picking up at least seven more seats.

The Australian Electoral Commission has counted 62.8% of the primary vote across the country with a swing away from the Coalition government.

Minor parties have also performed strongly with the Greens a strong chance of winning the inner Melbourne seat of Batman and the Nick Xenophon Team taking seat in South Australia.

 

Nick Xenophon, Senator South Australia, leader of the Nick Xenophon team in Toowoomba listens to questions with Groom candidate, Josie Townsend (centre). May 29, 2016
Nick Xenophon, Senator South Australia, leader of the Nick Xenophon team in Toowoomba listens to questions with Groom candidate, Josie Townsend (centre). May 29, 2016 Bev Lacey

One Nation has received strong swings towards it across Queensland.

Despite strong gains in NSW Labor has struggled to take seats in Queensland and Victoria.

The NXT is expected to win at least three senate seats in South Australia and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is likely to win a senate seat in Queensland.

 

INFLUENTIAL: One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is set to have a majpr say when she takes her place in the Senate.
INFLUENTIAL: One Nation leader Pauline Hanson is set to have a majpr say when she takes her place in the Senate. Rob Williams

 

Election expert and former Labor Federal NSW senator Graham Richardson told Sky News he expected the Coalition to hold onto government.

ABC election analyst Antony Green is yet to call the election for either party.

 

8.37PM VICTORY FOR LABOR IN BLAIR 

Shayne Neumann has declared victory in Blair.

The Labor MP has 59.66% of the two party preferred vote with a 5% swing towards Labor.

LNP candidate Teresa Harding received 40.34% of the two party preferred vote.

 

Shayne Neumann MP. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Shayne Neumann MP. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams

 

8.35PM BIG GUNS HOLD SEATS QUESTIONS ASKED ABOUT REGIONAL COUNTS

The major party's big names have held their seats without any worry.

With 16% of the vote counted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is winning 60% of the primary vote in his Sydney seat of Wentworth. Similarly Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has 49% of the primary vote in his Maribyrnong electorate.

 

There was a 10% swing against Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott but he had still received 52% of the primary vote with 16% counted.

Labor frontbench Anthony Albanese faced a challenge from the Greens after his Grayndler seat was redistributed. But with 5% of the vote counted he was winning 45% of the primary vote. 

 

 

8.28PM PALMER UNITED PARTY RETURN WOEFUL RESULT

The Palmer United Party looks set to be relegated to the political history books as the former force grabs a tiny slither of the vote in the 2016 election. 

What a difference three years can make!

 

 

8.09PM SEATS FALL ACROSS QLD AND NORTHERN NSW

Across the states of Queensland and into the Northern Rivers of New South Wales a number of results have come in. 

LNP member George Christensen has been returned in the seat of Dawson while in Gladstone in the seat of Flynn voters have shown their disaffection with the major parties with 17.69% of the vote going to One Nation. 

On the Fraser Coast the seats Wide Bay and Hinkler both look set to be returned to the National Party and in Ipswich LNP member Scott Buchholz looks set to be returned for the seat of Wright. 

In Groom in Toowoomba LNP member John McVeigh has extended a strong lead of 60.52% pf the vote. 

 

7.55PM WYATT ROY TRAILING IN SEAT OF LONGMAN

The youngest person ever to be elected into Australia's Federal Parliament looks as though he may lose his south-east Queensland seat. 

 

Wyatt Roy was the youngest-ever Member of Parliament elected in Australia and he's coming to Bundaberg. Photo Contributed
Wyatt Roy was the youngest-ever Member of Parliament elected in Australia and he's coming to Bundaberg. Photo Contributed Contributed

 

Wyatt Roy is trailing in the seat of Longman after almost a quarter of the vote has been counted. 

His Labor opponent Susan Lamb hold 50.78% of the vote while has 49.22%. 

The swing of more than seven per cent against Roy means he is unlikely to be returned. 

 

7.42PM BELLWETHER SEAT GOES TO LABOR

The Labor Party has claimed victory in the once-bellwether New South Wales seat of Eden-Monaro, with former MP Mike Kelly to return to parliament.

Data from the Australian Electoral Commission shows a 4.38% swing to Mr Kelly against Liberal incumbent Peter Hendy, with just over 39% of the vote counted.

While the full results are not yet in, ALP headquarters has claimed the seat theirs with Mr Kelly on a slim 50.98% majority.

Once a seat that often went with the government of the day, a recent redistribution had turned it into a likely Labor win ahead of today's poll.

 

7.40PM AEC INVESTIGATING BUNGLE

THE Australian Electoral Commission is investigating reports voters were given the wrong ballot papers in the Victorian seat of Higgins.

ABC analyst Barry O'Cassidy said an ABC sound man alerted officials when he realised there was a mix-up this morning.

"He was given his ballot paper and he was heading towards the booth when he noticed it was a ballot paper for the neighbouring seat of Melbourne Ports," Mr Cassidy said.

 

Voting at St Pauls Hall at the Lismore Presbyterian Church on Saturday. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
Voting at St Pauls Hall at the Lismore Presbyterian Church on Saturday. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

"So he went back to the desk and he said, 'This is not the right ballot paper; it's Melbourne Ports'.

"They got the supervisor, he noticed that other Melbourne Ports ballot papers had been torn off the sheet.

"While he was having this conversation he swears that at least 10 other people went away with Melbourne Ports ballot papers.

"None of them seemed to notice the difference. None of them came back.

"The supervisor said he was onto it and he seemed a bit relieved that at that time it was 8.06am, and polling had only been going on for six minutes."

Police are investigating another incident in Higgins after reports a Greens volunteer was bitten by a supporter of Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer.

Victoria Police received reports of the woman in a car being approached by two men who made comments about her Greens election material.

A allegedly broke out, with one of the men allegedly biting the woman's thumb before they drove away in a white SUV.

 

7.39 LABOR GREENS ALLIANCE MAY HAVE 'CRUELLED CHANCES'

LABOR'S ties to the Greens may have "cruelled their chances" of winning seats in regional Queensland.

Liberal Queensland senator George Brandis said Labor's ties to the Greens were costing them votes in mining dependent communities.

Mr Brandis said the Greens opposition to mining and development was pushing swing voters to the Coalition. 

"The problem for the Labor party in central Queensland in particular is their association with the Greens," he said.

"The Labor Party tying themselves up with the greens may have cruelled their chances."

 

7.38 SEATS CALLED AS EARLY SWING GOES TO COALITION

Early counts have called in 34 seats. As a number of upsets loom across the nation.

The list below denotes those seats which early counts show have gone either to the Coalition, ALP or independents.

Bob Katter has fought off a strong LNP challenge in Kennedy to retain his seat and Andrew Wilkie will once again be the member for Denison in Tasmania. 

 

Victoria

Mallee - Coalition

McMillan - Coalition

Flinders - Coalition

Corangamite - Coalition

Casey - Coalition

Wannon - Coalition

Hotham - Labor

 

Queensland

Maranoa - Coalition

 Wide Bay - Coalition

Groom - Coalition

Hinkler - Coalition

Capricornia - Coalition

Wright- Coalition

Kennedy - KAP

Lilley - Labor

Blair - Labor

 

New South Wales

Page - Coalition

Hume - Coalition

Lyne - Coalition

Riverina - Coalition

Calare - Coalition

Parkes, - Coalition

Mitchell - Coalition

Shortland - Labor

Cunningham - Labor

Gilmore - Labor

 

Tasmania

Bass - Labor

Franklin - Labor

Lyons - Labor

Braddon - Labor

 

7.22PM: COALITION WIN KEY BELLWETHER SEAT

 

Page Nationals MP Kevin Hogan looks set to hold his seat despite a 3.4% swing against him.

With 41 polling booths counted, 13% of the vote, Mr Hogan is ahead of Labor challenger Janelle Saffin.

After preferences the AEC says Mr Hogan has 51.58% of the vote. There has been a 1.52% swing towards Ms Saffin.

But speaking on Sky News Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger said he expected Mr Hogan to lose the seat.

Similarly Tony Abbott's chief of staff Peta Credlin said the Coalition was surprised to win the seat at the last election.

Meanwhile a number of seats have already been called, Bob Katter has retained his seat of Kennedy. 

And the Coalition appears to have won the seats of Mallee, McMillan, Flinders, Corangamite, Casey and Wannon in Victoria,

Maranoa, Wide Bay, Groom, Hinkler and Capricornia, Wright in Queensland.

 

7.12PM EARLY RESULTS LEAN TOWARD COALITION IN BELLWETHER SEAT OF PAGE

With more than a quarter of the vote counted the Coalition has drawn an early lead in this key bellwether seat. 

Incumbent Kevin Hogan is sitting on 51.15% of the two party preferred vote while his opponent Janelle Saffin from whom he took the seat in 2013 has 48.45%. 

 

6.59PM SAFE SEATS SHOW THEIR COLOURS

The country's safe seats have started to show their colours early with small fractions of the vote enabling candidates to take commanding leads. 

The first votes have been counted in the seat of Maranoa, which covers 731,297 sq/km of Queensland from the Northern Territory, South Australian and New South Wales borders to Diamantina in the north and Nanango, Warwick and Stanthorpe in the east. 

A safe LNP seat where David Littleproud has taken a commanding lead.

The ALP's Dave Kerrigan is third with 15%, with 1056 votes counted.

 

6.34PM: FIRST VOTES COUNTED

The first few votes have been counted and the Australian Electoral Commission has made what will be the first of many updates on its website tonight. 

At this stage the Coalition has secured more than 70% of the primary vote - so clearly the result is being skewed by the extremely small sample size.

The most talked about news of the day however has had nothing to do with policy, or seats, or even which party will form government.

Indeed the main question on the nation's lips is what's up with how Shorten eats a sausage sanga?

 

 

Meanwhile in Capricornia - one of the most marginal seats in Queensland - ARM's reporter on the ground Emma Clarke has spoken to incumbent LNP MP Michelle Landry and ALP candidate Leisa Neaton.

Both women will now keenly await tonight's result. 

 

6.28PM: SHORTEN THANKS THE FAITHFUL
 

LABOR has thanked its "true believers" as the vote count gets underway.

National party secretary George Wright sent an email out to Labor Party subscribers thanking them for their support.

 

How Opposition Leader Bill Shorten thanked his volunteers today
How Opposition Leader Bill Shorten thanked his volunteers today

 

The email included a photo of a note it claims Bill Shorten wrote.

"To the true believers of 2016. Your faith and hard work is inspirational," the note read.

"Thank you for your efforts on behalf of millions of Australians who are counting on Labor."

 

5.54PM:  NO HOME TOWN ADVANTAGE ON BILL SHORTEN'S LOCAL TURF

IF THE sentiment on the streets of Labor leader Bill Shorten's home turf is anything to go by, the Coalition could take home the gong.

ARM Newsdesk hit the streets in Moonee Ponds in Mr Shorten's Melbourne seat of Maribyrnong, from the popular Puckle St shopping precinct to the polling booths at Moonee Ponds West School.

Of four people willing to talk on the record about it, three said they were voting for the Coalition.

 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten addresses the Labor volunteers save medicare rally at the Eley Park Community Centre in Blackburn South, Victoria, Sunday, June 26, 2016. (AAP Image/Fairfax Media Pool, Alex Ellinghausen) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten addresses the Labor volunteers save medicare rally at the Eley Park Community Centre in Blackburn South, Victoria, Sunday, June 26, 2016. (AAP Image/Fairfax Media Pool, Alex Ellinghausen) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

 

Heading from Puckle St to the polling booth, 24-year-old Zach Broadhurst said he wasn't voting for Mr Shorten.

Mr Broadhurst said he was voting for "Malcolm Turnbull" because he wasn't impressed by Mr Shorten in person.

"Bill lives around the corner and I've bumped into him once at lunch and he really wasn't very likeable, he seemed a bit rude really," he said.

"Once I was also driving around near the (Moonee Ponds West) school and he cut me off, so I'm not voting for him."

Mr Broadhurst said he understood high-level politicians like the Opposition Leader were "always in the spotlight and followed around".

But he said it was important for politicians to treat other people well, especially in their local electorate.

Similarly, 24-year-old Meagan Lynch, who was in Mr Shorten's electorate, but was voting in her home seat of Higgins, was backing the Coalition.

Currently held by Coalition front-bencher Kelly O'Dwyer, Ms Lynch said she would be backing "Malcolm Turnbull" on the grounds of him having a "stronger economic plan".

She said the economy was the top issue for her, and she didn't believe that Mr Shorten and Labor had the right policies for the future.

Agribusiness investment specialist, 45-year-old Peter (who would not give his last name) said he was voting for the Liberal Party.

He said he had voted Labor in the past, but the "disunity in Labor" and "not being a fan of the unions" meant he was backing the government.

"In recent years I've mainly voted for the Liberals for economic reasons, and that's the same this time," Peter said.

"But I'm also worried about the control the CFMEU seems to have on Labor and Bill Shorten's a union man."

But 33-year-old nurse Emily (who would not give her last name) said she was backing Mr Shorten, mainly because she was trying to buy a house.

"I'm having a lot of trouble getting my first property, it seems everyone bidding at auctions is an investor," she said.

"I voted Labor because the Coalition isn't doing anything about property prices and negative gearing.

"But I also put the Greens second because it's about time same sex marriage was allowed and I think the way we're treating refugees in those centres is appalling."

While this straw poll is far from a scientific measure, is does show a resemblance to the national polls - set at either 50-50, or 51-49 in the Coalition's favour.

Mr Shorten held the seat on a whopping 47% of the first preference vote in 2013, but did lose 7.6% of his support then, compared to the 2010 election.

 

5.30PM: LAURIE OAKES SAYS FEDERAL ELECTION TOO CLOSE TO CALL

THE election is still too close to call, veteran political journalist Laurie Oakes has declared.

The Channel 9 exit poll had the Coalition with 43% of the primary vote, Labor with 36% of the primary vote and the Greens and other parties tied on 9%

Laurie Oakes in the gardens of Parliament House
Laurie Oakes in the gardens of Parliament House https://twitter.com/LaurieOakes

"Our pollsters have found a swing in the marginal seats of 3.4%," Mr Oakes said.

"If that plays out on a uniform basis tonight Labor would be on track to climb to 68 seats. And that's still eight short of victory, but depending on how many cross-benchers win seats tonight it also means to Coalition will fall short of the 76 seats it needs."

But a Sky News exit poll found 63% of voters expected the Coalition to win the election. 

BILL Shorten's campaign on Medicare was dubbed a "lie" and a "scare campaign" - but exit polls are showing it may have hit home.

Both a Sky News and a Channel 9 poll found health and education were the top issues people voted on.

The Coalition's preferred topic of the economy ranked third in Sky's poll and fourth in Channel 9's.

The Channel 9-Galaxy exit poll found a 3.2% swing towards Labor across NSW and a 3.4% swing in Queensland. 

The poll predicts a 5.4% in South Australia - the biggest swing in the nation.

Meanwhile former Queensland Labor Premier Peter Beattie believes the Coalition will hold government.

Speaking on Sky News Mr Beattie said he did not believe Labor had made significant enough grounds in the key battleground of Queensland.

 

 

"The bottom line is Queensland's not moving to the extent for Labor to win," Mr Beattie said.

Although elections are often won or lost in Queensland, NSW and especially western Sydney is shaping the most important region in the area.

Mr Beattie said the Victorian state Labor government's ongoing dispute with the Country Fire Association may have cost the Federal Labor party seats - and possibly the election.

"I don't think there is any doubt there are a lot of people in the Labor party who are very unhappy about how this issue has been handled in Victoria," he said.

I think picking a fight with volunteers in the middle of an election campaign will overlap (state and federal politics)

"There's absolutely no doubt the brawl with the CFA has been very damaging."

 

 

The Conversation