Australian PM Rudd heads for election wipe-out: poll

Australian PM Rudd heads for election wipe-out: poll
Representatives of different parties with leaflets wait for voters in front of a pre-poll voting centre on election eve in Sydney on September 6, 2013.

SYDNEY - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd refused to concede defeat Friday 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, a day before voters cast their ballots, found Rudd has failed to make any inroads on the conservative opposition leader.

On a two-party basis, Labor is trailing 47 to 53 per cent, with the newspaper saying the coalition could pick up an extra 20 to 25 seats in the lower House of Representatives.

An overwhelming 78 per cent of the 1,503 people questioned said Abbott had performed better during the election campaign. Just eight per cent said Rudd, with the rest undecided.

But the prime minister, who has struggled for traction after toppling Julia Gillard, Australia's first female leader, just weeks before calling the election, said he was not ready to give up.

"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," he 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 on Thursday pledged Aus$40 billion ($46.9 billion) of savings if it wins office.

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