Australia's federal election at a glance
Some facts and figures about Australia's federal election Saturday:
—Almost 1,200 candidates are vying for all 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 40 of the 76 seats in the Senate. The party or coalition that can form a majority in the lower house forms the government.
—Voting is mandatory for the more than 14 million of Australia's 22 million people who are registered. Failing to vote carries a fine of at least $18 (20 Australian dollars).
—Julia Gillard is Australia's first woman prime minister and has led the center-left Labor Party's first term government since June, when she ousted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in an internal party revolt.
—Opposition leader Tony Abbott is his conservative Liberal Party's third leader since it lost power in 2007 elections.
—The opposition Liberal-led coalition won 64 seats in the lower house during the last election, although one of those lawmakers has since become an independent. The coalition needs a swing of less than 3 percent of votes to deliver the 13 seats it needs to form a government.
—The left-wing, environmentally focused Australian Greens party is expected to increase its five seats in the Senate and could hold the balance of power with neither Labor nor the coalition likely to hold a majority in the upper house.
—Australian governments have changed only six times in the 25 elections held since World War II.
—An Australian government has not lost power after a single term since 1931.