Labor leads in polls as Australian election draws near

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (R) and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese during the second leaders' debate at the Nine studio in Sydney. Photo: Reuters
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (R) and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese during the second leaders' debate at the Nine studio in Sydney. Photo: Reuters
Labor is ahead in the polls with less than two weeks until election day in Australia, as the second leaders' debate was declared a draw.

The latest results from two polls show Labor is the preferred party as early voting begins from Monday.

Ipsos polling reveals Labor is leading a 57-43 result on a two-party preferred basis.

Support for Labor is at 39 percent, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison's coalition slipping to 35 percent, according to Newspoll.

On a two-party preferred vote, Labor leads 54/46.

Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese went head-to-head in the second leaders debate on Sunday night on Channel Nine.

Viewers were evenly split 50-50 between the two men vying for the nation's top job.

The Australian Electoral Commission is urging people to plan their vote amid the backdrop of the pandemic.

About 550 early voting centres will be operational nationwide in the lead up to polling day.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said despite the AEC's planning, services could still be impacted by COVID-19.

He said there were plenty of voting options for people who couldn't turn up on election day.

"Australian elections are in-person, community events held once every three years and built around election day, so if you can vote on election day then that's what you should do," Mr Rogers said.

"We ask for all Australians to be patient. We have all learned to adjust our service expectations throughout COVID.

"There will be some queues which is why everyone needs to plan their vote."

Earlier Ipsos polling indicates Labor's primary vote has risen one point to 35 percent, while the coalition's fell by three points to 29 percent.

The polling, published in the Australian Financial Review on Sunday night ahead of the debate, has Labor leading the coalition by 52 percent to 40 on a two-party preferred basis.

This represents a two percent swing towards Labor in the fortnight since the previous poll, the report said.

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