Wed, 18 May 2022

CANBERRA, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has been declared the winner of the third leaders' debate ahead of the Australian election.

Albanese and Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday night went head-to-head on key issues for the final time before the election on May 21.

The debate, which was hosted by Network Seven, was significantly calmer than Sunday night's second contest and addressed the rising cost of living, climate change, anti-corruption commissions, child care and wage growth.

Of 160 undecided voters asked to judge the leaders, 50 percent said Albanese was the winner and 34 percent Morrison. Sixteen percent said they were still undecided.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday published the results of a survey of 135,053 voters.

It found that voters' overall rating of Morrison has fallen from four out of 10 in the lead-up to the 2019 election to 3.3.

By comparison, respondents rated Albanese 5.1 out of 10 on average.

In order to form a government for the first time since 2013, Labor must have a net gain of at least seven seats in the lower house of Parliament -- the House of Representatives -- on May 21.

According to a poll of 19,000 voters across the country published by News Corp Australia on Wednesday, the Opposition is set to win 12 seats.

The poll found the Coalition is set to lose four seats in Victoria, two in Morrison and Albanese' home state of New South Wales, two in Western Australia and one each in Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, with another six seats considered too close to call.

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