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Labor Party on the Borderline

The graphic highlights some of the electoral districts at risk for Julia Gillard’s ruling Labor Party in Australian elections due Sept. 14. Labor holds 72 of the 150 seats in the lower house of parliament and governs with the support of independents. Among Labor seats, 41 are held with a margin below 10 percent, eight of which are in Sydney’s west and five in Brisbane. While Australia has outperformed other developed-world economies, manufacturing, tourism and retail industries have struggled as the local currency surged, damaging Labor’s standing in battleground districts where joblessness is rising.

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Australian Labor Party

*High and low unemployment refers to suburbs within the division. Overall unemployment data is unavailable for divisions.
Australia uses a preferential voting system, where candidates in each seat are ranked by voters on a ballot. The winning candidate needs an absolute majority of votes once preferences have been allocated.
Sources: Australian Election Commission; Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

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