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Australia election

Australia's Labor, 'teal independents' tap female voter frustration

Harassment scandals, ugly statistics offer opening against ruling coalition

"Teal independent" candidate for Zoe Daniel speaks to supporters in April.   © AAP

SYDNEY -- Living costs, taxes, housing and tensions with China have dominated Australia's election campaign. But after a string of sexual harassment scandals at the highest levels of politics, as well as some shocking statistics, the conservative Liberal government's track record on gender equality is also in the spotlight.

Anthony Albanese, leader of the opposition Australian Labor Party, has vowed to improve conditions for working women if he is able to form a government after Saturday's vote. The campaign has also seen the rise of the "teal independents," nearly two dozen female independent candidates who have branded themselves with a mix of conservative blue and environmentalist green. They are running for what had been considered safe conservative seats, posing a challenge to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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