The Latest: Vote counting starts in Australian election

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten and his wife Chloe eat a sausage sandwich on a federal election day in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, May 1

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten and his wife Chloe eat a sausage sandwich on a federal election day in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, May 1

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, is assisted by his wife, Jenny, as he casts his ballot in a federal election in Sydney, Australia, Sat

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, is assisted by his wife, Jenny, as he casts his ballot in a federal election in Sydney, Australia, Sat

Voters fill in their ballots at Town Hall in Sydney, Australia, in a federal election, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Polling stations have opened in eastern

Voters fill in their ballots at Town Hall in Sydney, Australia, in a federal election, Saturday, May 18, 2019. Polling stations have opened in eastern

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten poses as he votes with his wife Chloe during a federal election at Moonee Ponds West Primary School in Melbo

Australian opposition leader Bill Shorten poses as he votes with his wife Chloe during a federal election at Moonee Ponds West Primary School in Melbo

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Latest on Australia's general election (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Votes are being counted after Saturday's Australian election, with senior opposition lawmakers gaining confidence they will form a center-left government with a focus on slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

A Galaxy exit poll found that the opposition Labor Party could win as many as 82 seats in the 151-seat House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form government.

Polling booths in Australia's eastern states, where most of the 25 million population lives, closed at 6 p.m. Polls close on the west coast two hours later.

Opinion polls suggest the conservative Liberal Party-led coalition will lose its bid for a third three-year term and Scott Morrison will have had one of the shortest tenures as prime minister in the 118-year history of the Australian federation.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten had said Saturday morning he was confident Labor would win, but Morrison would not be drawn on a prediction.

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8 a.m.

Polling stations have opened in eastern Australia in elections that are likely to deliver the nation's sixth prime minister in as many years.

Opinion polls suggest the conservative Liberal Party-led coalition will lose its bid for a third three-year term at the election on Saturday and Scott Morrison will have had one of the shortest tenures as prime minister in the 118-year history of the Australian federation.

Morrison is the conservatives' third prime minister since they were first elected in 2013. He replaced Malcolm Turnbull in a leadership ballot of government colleagues in August.

The center-left Labor Party opposition under its leader Bill Shorten has been campaigning hard on more ambitious targets to reduce Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.