Australia votes on whether first woman PM survives

August 21, 2010 07:25

DELAIDE, Australia – Australians chose between two relatively unknown, but divergent personalities in a tight race Saturday pitting the country's first female prime minister against her socially conservative challenger just two months after she took power.

Julia Gillard, a 48-year-old former lawyer with a common law hairdresser spouse, came to power in an internal June 24 coup in her Labor Party during the first term of her predecessor, and almost immediately called an election to confirm her mandate.She goes against Tony Abbott, a married 52-year-old former Roman Catholic seminarian with three daughters who barely gained the endorsement eight months ago of his own Liberal Party, which has led Australia for most of the last 60 years.

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