Poll before Australian election shows result 'on a knife's edge'
Updated: 2016-07-01 15:45
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses young Liberals during a rally at Robotic Automation in the Sydney suburb of Newington, July 1, 2016 on the eve of Australia's federal elections. [Photo/Agencies]
CANBERRA - Australia's federal election is on a knife's edge, with the last opinion poll before Australians head to the voting booths revealing that, after preferences, the coalition and the Labor opposition both have 50 percent support.
The Fairfax-Ipsos poll, published on Friday just a day before the election, showed that Australia is yet again heading for a hung parliament, despite the coalition government holding a commanding lead in the primary vote.
The Turnbull government has support of 40 percent of Australian voters, while Labor has 33 percent, but after preferences Labor surges ahead to draw neck-and-neck with the coalition.
The poll also revealed that less than 20 percent of voters believe Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will win the election despite the fact about 50 percent intend to have Labor in as either their first or second preference.
Strikingly, the Fairfax poll showed 27 percent of voters remain intent on supporting Greens and other independent candidates, something which Turnbull said was a recipe for disaster.
The coalition's Leader of the House, Christopher Pyne, urged Australians to shun the Greens and independents in favor of a vote for the major parties, as voting independent would "cast (Australia) back to the darkness" of the minority Labor government in 2010.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese agreed, but said he didn't expect voters to follow through with independent votes when polling stations open on Saturday.
"It doesn't mean that is the way they vote," Albanese said. "I think when people get in the poll booth they know they can have Bill Shorten or Malcolm Turnbull tomorrow night as prime minister."