Reuters: Conservative leader Abbott expected to win Australian election as polls open

Tony Abbott could have a 40-seat majority in a 150-seat Parliament!

Reuters reports:

Abbott built up a strong poll lead on the back of promises to rein in government spending, scrap an unpopular tax on carbon emissions, and stop the flow of refugee boats arriving in Australia’s northwest.

The super-fit Abbott, a keen cyclist who often exercises before dawn, has also promised to restore government stability after three years of a hung parliament and Labor’s change of prime minister twice in three years.

Rudd, who replaced Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard in late June, has painted Abbott’s planned spending cuts as dangerous European-style austerity and said his government is best placed to manage a slowing economy.

Two last minute polls on Saturday, Newspoll in the Australian newspaper and Nielsen in the Fairfax media, found Abbott’s Liberal Party would win 54 percent of the national vote, compared to 46 percent for Rudd’s Labor.

That would give Abbott an overwhelming majority of around 40 seats in the 150 seat parliament.

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