It looks like it could be all over for John Howard and the Coalition. Exit polls carried out by Sky show that Howard will lose his seat in Bennelong, and predict a two-party preferred result of 53 per cent to Labor to 47 per cent to the Coalition. If the results match the exit poll, then Labor will have attained the swing of 5 per cent required to win an outright majority in the lower house of parliament. Casting his vote this morning, Labor leader Kevin Rudd said: "It's a tight and tough race ... I've been saying that all year. Nothing's changed. "I have to say there is a strong mood for change in Australia. People want new leadership with a positive plan for the future."
Officials have begun to count votes and preliminary results are expected within a few hours.
One other thing to note is that participating in elections is compulsory in Australia, and more than 13.5 million people are expected to vote. Should we have compulsory participation?
UPDATE 09:30: 20% of the votes are in and it looks like Labor are on track to win the 16 seats needed to gain office.
UPDATE 10:00: Labor are claiming victory saying it's a matter of whether this will be a narrow win or a landslide triumph.
UPDATE 10:30: It looks certain that Labor have won the 16 seats needed.
UPDATE 11:15: Labor win. Kevin Rudd will be the next Australian Prime Minister.