By late Sunday, with nearly 80 percent of the vote counted, neither the governing center-left Labor Party nor a conservative opposition coalition had captured enough votes to claim a majority in the 150-member House of Representatives. The final result will be revealed in about a week.
The election comes two months after Ms Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd in a controversial leadership challenge. Labor, which held 83 seats before the election on Saturday, lost at least 13 and is at risk of becoming the first government in nearly 80 years to be turned from office after just one 3-year term.
Australia, whose last hung parliament was in 1940, is expected to start talks on a coalition government soon.
After Close Australia Vote, Parties Seek Coalition [The New York Times, 22 Aug 2010]
Australia PM Gillard begins task to build coalition [BBC News, 22 Aug 2010]