Tony Abbott on the campaign trail.
Tony Abbott on the campaign trail. Vicki Wood

Tony Abbott says he doesn't believe positive opinion polls

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says he does not believe the growing number of opinion polls pointing to a landslide election victory for the Coalition on Saturday.

The latest Newspoll, published in The Australian, showed Labor's primary vote had slumped four points to 33% since the election was called on August 4.

Primary support for the Coalition jumped two points to 46% during the same period.

Based on preference flows from the 2010 election, the Coalition holds a commanding 54-46% two-party-preferred lead - a swing of 4% against Labor in three years.

Labor's representation in the lower house would be reduced to 58 seats with a uniform swing of this magnitude on election day - a loss of 14 seats.

But despite this and other polls pointing to a thumping Coalition victory, Mr Abbott was careful not to display any signs of over-confidence.

"I don't believe the polls. I want to make it absolutely crystal clear - I do not believe these polls," Mr Abbott said on Monday.

"Mr Rudd has been a poor prime minister, but never forget that he beat John Howard in 2007, and John Howard was the most successful prime minister since Bob Menzies.

"You've got to respect Mr Rudd's campaigning ability, even if you don't necessarily have to respect his governing ability."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who trailed Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister for the first time in the Newspoll, dismissed the poll.

But he also conceded Labor faced a significant challenge to claw back support in the final week of the campaign.

"I think your listeners and viewers this morning are more interested to know what the policies are for the future rather than a rolling analysis of the opinion polls," Mr Rudd said on Sunrise.

"The bottom line is we entered this campaign as the underdog. We remain the underdog. Let's just call a spade as a spade. That's as it is.

"But I think your viewers, this morning, want to know what we are fighting for in this election."

APN Australian Regional Media will publish the results of an extensive election online survey later in the week.



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