Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he does not believe polls showing him heading for a thumping victory in Saturday’s election, and Labor could still “sneak” back into power.
With just five days to go to the election, Labor has been dealt more bad news with the latest Newspoll showing Mr Abbott overtaking Kevin Rudd as preferred prime minister for the first time in their long rivalry.
The poll, published in The Australian newspaper on Monday, also suggests Labor is facing a big defeat, with the two-party preferred vote showing Labor on 46 per cent compared to the coalition’s 54 per cent.
“I do not believe these polls,” Mr Abbott told reporters on Monday.
Mr Rudd is a poor prime minister, he said.
“But never forget that he beat John Howard in 2007, and John Howard was the most successful prime minister since Bob Menzies.
“So you have got to respect Kevin Rudd’s campaigning ability, even if you don’t necessarily have to respect his governing ability.”
Mr Abbott predicts an “incredibly close” race on Saturday.
“There’s every reason to think the Labor Party could sneak back into government thanks to deals with the Greens,” he said.
“Anyone who believes these polls and thinks this election is over is just dead wrong.”
Opposition communications and broadband spokesman Malcolm Turnbull agreed the election result was far from decided.
“Anything can happen between now and Saturday,” he told reporters in Melbourne.
Finance spokesman Andrew Robb said while working in the private sector he had seen many deals that were nearly done fall over at the last minute.
“So we’ve got to take that mindset into the last week and we have to treat every day as another critical day,” he said.
“We have been in a strong position, but you could lose the strong position.”