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Gillard regains poll lead: ABC

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today regained the lead in the country's neck-and-neck race to office but the ABC predicted she would ultimately finish dead even with her conservative rivals.

world Updated: Aug 22, 2010 12:37 IST

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Sunday regained the lead in the country's neck-and-neck race to office but the ABC predicted she would ultimately finish dead even with her conservative rivals.

The state broadcaster said Gillard's ruling Labor party had won 73 seats in the knife-edge national poll to the Liberal/National coalition's 70.

But both sides were predicted to take a total of 73 seats on current numbers, with the four remaining lower house seats to be held by independent lawmakers and the minority Greens party, resulting in a hung parliament.

The ABC's latest figure for seats won by the coalition was a downward revision from an earlier tally of 72.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), whose online calculations are slightly slower than the ABC's, put the figure at 70 for Labor and 72 for the coalition.

The AEC said five seats were still undecided, two had gone to the independents and one to the Greens.

Both Gillard and rival Tony Abbott have refused to concede defeat and it might be up to two weeks until all counting has finished and a result is clear.