Too close to call as polls open in Australian elections

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at a campaign event in Sydney on July 1, 2016Australians were voting in national elections Saturday with conservative leader Malcolm Turnbull the slight favourite ahead of Labor’s Bill Shorten, culminating a marathon race where economic management has become a key issue in the wake of the Brexit vote. Polling stations opened at 8:00 am (2200 GMT) with some 15.6 million electors taking part in a mandatory ballot across the huge country, with a final survey putting Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former banker, marginally ahead. After eight weeks on the hustings, a Newspoll of 4,135 people published in The Australian showed his Liberal/National coalition 50.5 to 49.5 percent in front on a two-party basis, while a poll in the Sydney Morning Herald had them in a dead heat.

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