|Embattled Rudd heads for rout
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (pictured) who is steering a weakening economy, rising joblessness and a huge fiscal hole, refused to concede defeat despite a new poll showing he is heading for an election wipe-out as the media swung behind rival Tony Abbott.
The Galaxy survey in the Sydney Daily Telegraph, found Rudd has failed to make any inroads on the conservative opposition leader.
Labor is trailing 47 to 53 percent. The newspaper says the coalition could pick up an extra 20 to 25 seats in the lower house of representatives.
An overwhelming 78 percent of the 1,503 people questioned said Abbott had performed better during the election campaign. Just 8 percent said Rudd, with the rest undecided.
“I've seen those sorts of gaps made up in the past and I think there are so many people undecided out there about what Mr Abbott's massive cuts mean to them,'' Rudd said.
“I think as we get closer to the vote tomorrow, people will say 'will these massive cuts hurt my job, hurt my hospital, will they hurt my school?'.... And I think those are the questions that will focus undecided voters as they go to vote.''
The economy has been a key election battleground and the opposition pledged A$40 billion (US$36.7 billion) of savings if it wins office.
Rudd added: ``We continue to fight right through till 6:00 pm tomorrow,'' referring to when the polls close.
But he appears to have an insurmountable task with all the nation's main newspapers, bar The Age in Melbourne, backing Abbott in their election eve editorials.
But Abbott said it was too early to start celebrating.
“It's like being in a grand final, five minutes to go, only a goal or two in it, anything could happen,'' he said.