Australians are waiting for the result of the election. In the land of Oz all eligible voters over the age of 18 must vote. Fail to do so, or to register to vote, and the authorities track you down via government databases. Yes Big Brother. Warning letters, fines, court appearances and jail could follow.
Polling is underway and political pundits predict that Labor's six-year term of office will come to and end, replaced by opposition leader Tony Abbott, and the Liberal-National coalition. Predictions are not always correct though.
Labor leader Kevin Rudd was ousted by Julian Gillard who then spectacularly suffered the same fate weeks ago. Kevin Rudd may have been the popular choice of Labour but is he the choice of the people? If Labor loses it could be down to a mixture of the in out shenanigans of Rudd and Gillard, economic woes, debt or just a swing away from left of centre politics in Oz.
On a personal level both Rudd and Abbott are a bit like marmite -- you will either love them or loathe them. One other notable candidate is Julian Assange, the whistle-blower holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, England since June 2012.
Assange is the founder of wikileaks and its political party. Al Jazeera TV news in the UK broadcast what on the surface was the most bizarre political ad ever, an Assange look-a-like singing his campaign message. It was hard to imagine that this stance would appeal to many, apart from fruit-cakes, but it could win the young vote.
Friday the Guardian reported that Mr Assange was making the final preparations for his election. If he wins will he have privileges that allow him to exit the embassy? The British government continues to spend an obscene amount of money ensuring that Assange stays put. Policing outside of the embassy is a huge cost. The report says "Assange is a "wild card", according to poll-watcher William Bowe – who writes the Poll Bludger blog for Crikey – but he does have an outside chance of winning the sixth Senate spot, despite the strength of the Greens vote in Victoria."
"Assange heads the Senate ticket in Victoria, but the party is also running candidates in New South Wales and Western Australia. Lawyer and human rights activist Kellie Tranter, who leads the ticket in NSW, and WA's lead candidate, researcher Gerry Georgatos, were both involved in a controversial last-minute decision to put right-wing parties ahead of the Greens on the WikiLeaks party's Senate group voting tickets in those two states."
The controversy lead to the resignation of Victorian Senate candidate, ethicist Dr Leslie Cannold, who said she would not be a part of an undemocratically run party.
For now mainstream media is centered on the battle for the role of leader of Australia. Will it be outspoken Rudd or eccentric Abbott?
Never, however, underestimate the voter nor Mr Assange. Any votes he gains will come at the expense of the mainstream political parties. In that respect, at least, he could be crucial to the result.
Updates as results available.