Australians vote in a federal election on Saturday (18 October) and opinion polls indicate the outcome will be close.
SV PAN Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, moving through crowd and shaking hands. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Demonstrators chanting slogans TO Mr. Fraser with newsmen.
GV Mr. Fraser walking through crowd. (2 SHOTS)
GV INTERIOR Labor Party leader Bill Hayden speaking from rostrum, in Brisbane. (2 SHOTS)
HAYDEN: "In the last five years unemployment has increased by between a hundred and seventy thousand and a hundred and eighty thousand. In other words, under the policies of the Fraser government, unemployment has increased by roughly one hundred a day, every day since Mr. Fraser became Prime Minister. This worsening unemployment has cost our nation something like eighteen thousand million dollars in lost production and lost wealth. It's a disgraceful indictment of the policies of Mr. Fraser, who, five years ago promised jobs for all under his government."
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Background: Australians vote in a federal election on Saturday (18 October) and opinion polls indicate the outcome will be close. The country's Liberal Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, has a ???8 seat majority in the national parliament. but a swing to the opposition Labor party is showing signs of greatly reducing, or overturning the majority. The Labor Party is being led by a former government minister Bill Hayden. The last time his party held office was in 1975 under the prime ministership of Gough Whitlam. That government was dissolved when the country's head of state at the time. Governor-General Sir John Kerr, dismissed Mr. Whitlam.
SYNOPSIS: At this outdoor meeting in Melbourne Mr. Fraser bore the brunt of angry protesters complaining about his government's economic policies. Unemployment. A key issue in the campaign, is running at seven percent of the workforce. Mr. Fraser has concentrated his campaign on defence issues and his government's economic record. But his appeal appears to have been rejected by uncommitted "swing-voters". The Prime Minister, seeking a third term in office, is fighting for his political life. Opinion polls have shown a sharp swing towards the Labour Party and leader Bill Hayden speaking in Brisbane believes he knows why.