Australians living in the UK are being urged to vote in the Australia General Election, as the polling station in London’s Australia House opens.
Votes in Australia will be cast on August 21 and will decide between keeping the Labour Party in power or installing the Liberal-National coalition.
With Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott engaged in such a tight election battle in Australia, voters in the UK have the chance to heavily influence the August 21 election result.
The Australian High Commission estimates about 100,000 Australians currently live in London and a reported 400,000 throughout the UK.
High Commissioner John Dauth was the first to vote on Monday morning and predicted up to 20,000 will vote in the grand halls of Australia House in central London this month.
Mr Dauth said voting in London and the thousands of postal votes sorted at Australia House could play a big part in deciding whether Ms Gillard or Mr Abbott wins the election.
“I think there is every possibility that in some seats that overseas votes will make a difference,” Mr Dauth said.
“That is why I think Australians should if they are travelling or live overseas and are enrolled, should vote.
“I think it is a democratic duty and I am hoping that lots and lots of Australians will come through our doors.
“It is summer and there are lots of Australians travelling and we could get 18,000, 20,000 easily.”
The polls at Australia House are open until 10pm on August 20, just before voting commences in Australia.
Due to the time difference, the High Commission will not open on election day on August 21.