Chief Correspondent, Sydney
Michael's Feed
Aug 21, 2010

Minority govt possible in cliffhanger Australia poll

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australians voted on Saturday in the closest election in decades with voters divided on whether to give Labor a second term or opt for conservative rule, raising a real prospect of a minority government unpopular with investors.

At stake was not only the political future of Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the opposition’s Tony Abbott, both new and untested leaders, but also Labor’s plans for a 30 percent resource tax and a $38 billion broadband network.

Aug 20, 2010

Australia faces risk of hung parliament post poll

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia may be headed for a hung parliament with an election-eve opinion poll showing the ruling Labor party has lost its slim lead and is now level with the conservative opposition, a worst-case scenario for investors.

A minority government, and its inherent uncertainty could, represent the worst outcome for Australia, risking policy gridlock, investment paralysis and an Australian dollar sell-off.

Aug 18, 2010

Australia may face fiscal crisis in hung parliament

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia could face a fiscal crisis if voters deliver a hung parliament at elections on Saturday with two key independent politicians saying they cannot guarantee to back the next government’s budget plans.

Without a clear winner on August 21, the next Australian government may have to rely on three independents to form government, but in interviews with Reuters only one MP made a pre-election commitment to support government money bills.

Aug 18, 2010

Australia’s Labor to scrape back into power – poll

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labour government will be battered at Saturday’s election but scrape back into office for a second term with a narrow four-seat majority, opinion polls showed on Wednesday.

With just three days of campaigning left in the tightest election in decades, Labor’s floundering support with voters seems to have stabilised while the conservative opposition is slipping in key eastern states which will decide the election.

Aug 2, 2010

Australia election set for neck-and-neck finish

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Labor government and the opposition are neck-and-neck ahead of an August 21 election, an opinion poll showed on Monday, prompting a call by Prime Minister Julia Gillard for an aggressive election campaign.

“I wake up some days and go, let’s fire up, let’s get more determined and that’s what I’ve done today,” Gillard told Sydney radio after a Newspoll survey put her Labor party and opposition Liberal-National coalition 50:50 to win the election.

Jul 19, 2010

Australian PM extends lead in election race

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s chances of winning an August 21 election were boosted on Monday with an opinion poll showing voters overwhelmingly preferred her as prime minister.

The country’s first woman prime minister, appointed in a Labor party coup last month, held a commanding 57-27 lead over conservative leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, according to the Newspoll survey in The Australian newspaper.

Jul 17, 2010

Australian PM calls election

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called an election on Saturday for August 21, with the tightly-fought poll to be decided over policies on economic management, climate and border protection.

Australia’s first female prime minister was appointed three weeks ago by the ruling Labor party as the government faced electoral defeat. Since then Gillard has resurrected support, putting Labor narrowly ahead in opinion polls. But conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott needs to win only nine seats to form a government with four independents, or 13 seats to take office outright.

Jul 17, 2010

Australian PM calls election for August 21

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called an election on Saturday for August 21, with the poll to be fought over policies on economic management, climate and border protection.

Australia’s first female prime minister was appointed three weeks ago by the ruling Labor party as the government faced electoral defeat and has resurrected voter support to put Labor narrowly ahead in opinion polls. Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott needs to win only nine seats to form government with four independents or 13 seats to take office outright.

Jul 17, 2010

Australian PM set to call poll for late August

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is set to call an election on Saturday for late August, with the poll to be fought over policies on economic management, climate and border protection.

Australia’s first female prime minister was appointed three weeks ago by the ruling Labor party as the government faced electoral defeat and has resurrected voter support to put Labor narrowly ahead in opinion polls. Conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott needs to win only nine seats from the government to take office.

Jul 16, 2010

Australia faces election as economy hums

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australians will go to the polls to decide whether to re-elect a centrist Labor government for a second-term or a move back to a conservative government which ruled for 12 years until 2007.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is likely to call an election on Saturday for Aug. 28, state broadcaster ABC said on Friday. Recent polls indicate that the government is headed for a narrow victory.