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Australia's election: 5-week sprint for the top job

Blue skies ahead? Opposition leader Bill Shorten addresses the media from a backyard in Melbourne. Photo: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, of the conservative Liberal Party, has called a general election for May 18. He'll face off against Bill Shorten of the opposition Labor Party.

Where things stand: Morrison starts a few points back in the polls. His pitch to voters is that Labor would endanger strong economic growth. Whoever wins might not last long. Australia has had a revolving door of prime ministers in recent years — Morrison is the 5th since 2013.

Climate change is expected to play a role after a year of extreme weather events.

  • Health care, education and jobs are also on voters' minds. And immigration is also a factor. Morrison, a former immigration minister, is associated with a crackdown on asylum seekers.