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Australians get ready for polls a 'fair go' election on May 18

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Australians get ready for polls a 'fair go' election on May 18

Australians get ready for polls a 'fair go' election on May 18

Australians will go to the polls in a general election on May 18 after Prime Minister Scott Morrison fired the starting gun on Thursday on a campaign set to be fought over equality - and, amid a signs of slowing growth, the economy.

David Pollard reports.


Australians get ready for polls a 'fair go' election on May 18

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON, SAYING: (AFTER WALKING TO PODIUM FOR NEWS CONFERENCE) "Earlier this morning, I visited the Governor-General here in Canberra and he accepted my advice for an election to be held on the 18th of May." Scott Morrison rings the opening bell in an election to be fought over climate change, inequality, and the economy.

On that, he says, his Liberal-led conservative coalition are the ones with the necessary credentials.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, SCOTT MORRISON, SAYING: "The choice ... is like it always is at every election, and that is, who do you trust to deliver that strong economy?" Not everyone trusts the government.

Morrison's minority coalition must win seats to hold power.

It has also had three prime ministers in six years.

For many of those, opinion polls have put the opposition Labor party well ahead.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CREATIVE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONAL, IVAN DAVIS, SAYING: "I think most people in this country want stronger leadership sooner rather than later." (SOUNDBITE) (English) RETIRED SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHER, MARGARET FLYNN, SAYING: "The Liberal party is really quite out of touch with what the new reality is for everybody." A reality where the economy shows signs of growth slowing, consumer spending weakening, home prices falling.

The government has vowed to clean up Australia's tainted 300 billion dollar financial services industry.

But the shadow of a scandal that exposed fees charged to the accounts of dead people, and cash bribes paid to win mortgage business, lingers on.

And could also play to Labor Leader Bill Shorten's appeal to voters.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LABOR PARTY LEADER, BILL SHORTEN, SAYING: "When everyday Australians are getting a fair go then this economy hums. We get good jobs, not just casualised, labour-hire part-time jobs." In the battle for wallets, the opening punch has already come from the government.

With a pre-election budget giveaway pledge this month of $112 billion in tax cuts over the next decade.

Labor has promised to match the tax cuts for middle-income earners - and promised bigger concessions for lower-paid workers.

May 18th is shaping up, according to one investor, to be a starker choice than any vote since the 1970s.

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