Australia's Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Opposition leader Billy Snedden on Thursday (16 May) wound up their campaigns for the general elections on Saturday (18 May).
ZOOM IN SV Whitlam being applauded on stage.
GV Applauding supporters waving banners
SV Whitlam waving to crowd as crowd applauds (2 Shots)
SV ZOOM OUT GV Whitlam waves hands in air and sits down.
SV Snedden walks down centre of hall with arms raised.
SV Snedded with arms raised PAN TO applauding audience.
SV Snedden and Anthony with arms raised together as crowd applauds (2 shots).
Back view Snedden addressing crowd from rostrum.
Initials AE/32.00 AE/23.13
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Background: Australia's Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and Opposition leader Billy Snedden on Thursday (16 May) wound up their campaigns for the general elections on Saturday (18 May).
The electorate will decide whether it wants the Labour Party to go ahead with its reform in foreign and domestic policies.
Seventeen months ago, Mr. Whitlam, leader of the Labour Party since 1966, took the party to its first Federal election win in 23 years.
His three-year term in office was ended when the Liberal-Country Party coalition, with the aid of the Democratic Labour Party, threatened to block vital monetary bills in the Senate (Upper House) unless the Parliament was dissolved.
One of the major issues wa inflation, which ran at 14 per cent last year. The Opposition parties claimed the Labour government had failed to manage the economy properly.
But Mr. Whitlam called for a "fair go", claiming the Opposition had contributed to inflation by its "obstructive policies."
A record 745 candidates will contest the 127 seats in the House of Representatives and 60 Senate seats in the 29th Parliament. The election has been complicated by the addition of four constitutional questions, to be decided by referendum the same day.
Opinion polls were marginally in favour of Labour as the election campaigns drew to a close, and indicated that Labour could increase its majority in the House of Representatives.
In Australia, electioneering is illegal in the 48 hours before polling day.