Australian election neck-and-neck

Election Day has finally arrived in Australia and the race for the top job is neck-and-neck. As all polls close across Australia, results show the conservative coalition with a narrow lead, but too close to call. To form a majority government, either side needs 76 seats.

The latest opinion polls have Labor one percentage point behind the Liberal Party. Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull does have a wafer thin advantage over Labor leader Bill Shorten, but if Mr Turnbull wins, it's unlikely he'll come back with a strong majority to govern.

After a marathon campaign, Opposition leader Mr Shorten faces an uphill sprint to the election finish line. After eight weeks he's worked up an appetite, and enjoyed a sausage at a campaign stop. It might just be the energy he needs to get across the line.

Mr Shorten's rival, Mr Turnbull, avoided the sausage. He's drinking green tea.

Mr Turnbull hit the polling booth with his wife, Lucy, in his local Sydney electorate. There was time for some final selfies and some advice for future voters.

With the cameras ready to capture the crucial moment, Mr Turnbull cast his ballot. In an election this tight, every vote counts. The latest poll out today puts Mr Turnbull's coalition ahead of Labor by a whisker.

Seventy-six is the magic number - either side needs that many seats to form a majority government. So parties are fighting to sway anyone they can.

Unlike in New Zealand, campaigning is allowed on Election Day, meaning voters have to run the gauntlet before casting their ballot, so there's no escaping scripted campaign messages.

"Australian voters understand you can have Malcolm Turnbull or Medicare but you can't have both," says Mr Shorten.

Some voters don't appear to have paid much attention to the race. That's the real worry for the major parties, that voters could sleepwalk into a hung Parliament.

A third of Australians are expected to vote for minor parties or independents. That's bad news because it could mean neither major party has a majority, meaning a messy Parliament reliant on political friendships. And it's even worse for voters, as it means this record long election drags on and on.