The two are a contrast of styles. Gillard had a majority going into the elections, but her party's internal strife and the manner she rose to power left a bad after taste to the Australian electorate. On the other hand, Abbott gained and had the lead going into the last two weeks of the election. He appears to have lost steam as questions about his economic policy and fumbled responses to pressing issues such as IT broadband and stimulus packages have made many shake their heads.
Many pundits are saying that it is a tough close contest in each polling place in the country as every vote matters to determine a majority in Parliament. Labor insiders though have recognized that "the undecided vote has not fallen our way, it's broken Abbott's way."
It is also a crossroads in Australian history as this would be the first hung Parliament in the country since the Second World War. It would also be the proving ground of whether the first woman Prime Minister would be the first elected woman Prime Minister. Ms. Gillard is a former lawyer with a common law hairdresser spouse. Mr. Abbott is a former Roman Catholic seminarian married with three daughters who barely made the endorsement as standard-bearer from his very own party.
There are many issues sweeping the island continent now, from immigration to communication. Now the reins of power would be transferred to one who captains the growth and development of the country's economy. As party leaderships gear up for the last few handshakes and last campaign slogans, each state has their own choices and as Ozzies go to the polls, the marginal seats may decide the outcome of the election and Australia's future. On the hands of fourteen million voters lies the determination of the majority for the government. The Coalition needs to snare away seventeen Labor seats and Labor can lose its standing majority if it loses thirteen seats.