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Australia election

Economy key to Australian election: 5 things to know

National security vis-a-vis China also a big challenge for next government

Australia's next prime minister will be either incumbent Scott Morrison, left, or Labor leader Anthony Albanese. (Source photos by AP and Reuters) 

SYDNEY -- Australians will cast their ballots in a federal election on Saturday, with polls indicating a tight race that could see the opposition Labor Party returning to power after nine years of a conservative coalition government led by the Liberal Party.

The vote comes as economic fallout from the ongoing Ukraine war drives up the cost of living. National security is also a key issue: the recent announcement of a bilateral security agreement by China and the Solomon Islands means navigating Pacific geopolitics will be a major challenge for the next government.

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