Early exit polls report opposition romping to victory in Australia

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott waits for his live interview outside a polling station in Sydney on Saturday Sept 7, 2013. Early exit polls taken in Australia's national election on Saturday showed the Abbott-led conservative opposition romp
Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott waits for his live interview outside a polling station in Sydney on Saturday Sept 7, 2013. Early exit polls taken in Australia's national election on Saturday showed the Abbott-led conservative opposition romping to victory over Mr Kevin Rudd's Labor Party. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Early exit polls taken in Australia's national election on Saturday showed the Tony Abbott-led conservative opposition romping to victory over Mr Kevin Rudd's Labor Party.

A Sky News exit poll released before voting was to end at 6pm predicted that the Liberal/Nationals would gain a massive 25 seats to sweep 97 of the 150 seats in the Lower House of Representatives.

The survey, carried out by Newspoll, forecast Labor would lose 21, to be left with just 51. The independents would have two seats.

On a two-party basis, the coalition would take 53 per cent of the vote to Labour's 47 per cent.

A separate Morgan-Channel Ten exit poll predicted Mr Abbott's coalition would sweep to victory with 52 per cent of the vote to 48 per cent for Labor on a two-party basis.

In the primary vote, which takes into account the minor parties and independents, the coalition had 42.5 per cent to Labor's 33.5 per cent, it showed.

The Greens Party would garner 11 per cent and the newly established Palmer United Party, run by colourful billionaire Clive Palmer, five percent, with "others" taking the rest.

A Newspoll published before voting started indicated Mr Abbott was ahead 54 per cent to 46 per cent on a two-party basis, the same as a Nielsen poll.

That represented a 4-percentage-point swing since the last election in 2010.

A relaxed Mr Abbott spent Saturday morning campaigning in Sydney, while a subdued Mr Rudd kept a lower profile in his home town of Brisbane, voting in the early afternoon.