Turnbull, Shorten Make Last Ditch Appeals As Australia Votes

The leaders have cast their votes on Saturday.

02/07/2016 7:22 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
Jason Reed / Reuters
Australia is voting in election 2016.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and opposition leader Bill Shorten have made final appeals to voters as Australia goes to the polls on Saturday.

Booths across the nation open at 8am and close at 6pm local times, with the latest Newspoll showing that the coalition and Labor go into the big day very close.

The latest polling suggests the coalition is clinging to a narrow one percent lead.

Official TV ads are not allowed on election eve, but that hasn't stop the major parties appealing to voters in person and online.

Turnbull ran a slick digital ad on his Facebook page on Friday night along with a caption urging Aussies to return the government to office.

"With your help, tomorrow we'll return a stable Coalition majority to government and stick to the plan that's working," the ad's caption states.

The Prime Minister cast his vote in his eastern Sydney seat of Wentworth earlier today in what was expected to be his only public appearance for the day.

However following that official engagement, Turnbull popped up in Sydney's west.

He has spent the last couple of days honing his message about stability and the economy, even penning an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review on Friday.

Shorten also used social media to spruik Labor's credentials at the 11th hour, taking to Twitter on Friday night with the message "we're ready to serve".

On Saturday morning, Shorten appeared on ABC 24 shortly before the nation turned out to vote, emphasising the threat he says the coalition poses to Medicare.

"I've been aware ever since the Liberal budget that the Liberals are going to, by virtue of their cuts to Medicare, mean that people are paying more to go and see the doctor," he said.

"It has become ... the defining issue in this election. You can either have Malcolm Turnbull or you can have Medicare, but you can't have both."

He cast his vote in Sydney's inner west as part of a last flurry of campaigning.

Meanwhile, Greens leader Richard Ni Natale has been out early in Resevoir in the seat of Batman.

The Greens are threatening to take the marginal Melbourne seat from the ALP.

South Australia senator Nick Xenophon, whose new party has been tipped to be a force this election, arrived in Sturt to cast his vote on a 3-wheel motorbike.

The Nick Xenophon team is running a number of senate and house of representatives candidates.

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