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Coalition 'closing in on win'

November 20, 2007 09:14am

Article from: AAP

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THE COALITION is closing in on Labor in the final week of the campaign and can still win a tight election, former Liberal Party campaign director Lynton Crosby said.

Mr Crosby said Labor's primary vote, according to opinion polls, was five points down from a month ago.

"If I had my old hat on I'd like a 10-point lead but given where the Government's at, it is tough but it is closing and there's still a significant proportion of people it appears who haven't yet made up their mind," he told ABC radio today.

"In that sense it's heading in the right direction. Whether it's fast enough is the issue.

The latest Newspoll, published in The Australian today, shows the coalition eight points behind Labor on a two-party preferred basis. The result maintains a year-long voter-intention trend.

"What this (latest Newspoll) doesn't tell you is the impact in individual seats because it's only generic party vote (that) doesn't raise the issue of candidate names," Mr Crosby said.

"There are a lot of strong incumbents out there."

Mr Crosby said the coalition had run a good campaign.

"The Government's paid campaign has been very much on-message and consistent and it's still running and happening," he said.

"The prime minister has again demonstrated enormous energy and capacity to get his message out.

"The coalition can win but it is going to be very tight if they do."

Michael Costello, a chief of staff to former Labor leader Kim Beazley, agrees the Government can still hang on for a win.

"I think this is going to be very tough and the Government can still win this election," he said.

"But you'd have to say that Labor, which has conducted a very good campaign, not just for the six weeks but for the whole period, is ahead of the Government which I think has remarkably, ever since January this year, especially during the campaign, just been a shambles.

"(But) if the marginal seats campaign works for the Government and they only need 48.5 per cent to win, which is possible, they may just fall over the line."

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