Australians head to the polls in tight election contest

After years of political turmoil, Australians are heading to the polls as leaders of the nation's major parties each promise to bring stability to a government that has long been mired in chaos.

Polls opened Saturday morning in an election that pits the conservative coalition government against the center-left Labor Party.

The election caps off an extraordinarily volatile period in the nation's politics. Australian political parties can change their leaders under certain conditions and have done so in recent years with unprecedented frequency. Should Labor win, its leader, Bill Shorten, will become Australia's fifth prime minister in three years.

Though the race is tight, polls suggest that the conservative coalition is on track for a narrow win.