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Last Newspoll of the campaign -

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Political editor of The Australian newspaper Dennis Shanahan has the latest Newspoll numbers.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: We'll have a preview of tomorrow's Neilsen and Newspolls in a moment, we'll
wrap up the day's events and to assess the campaign and the critical day ahead we'll be joined by
our regular election commentators Michael Kroger and Paul Howes.

But let's go straight to the Political Editor of The Australian newspaper, Dennis Shanahan, who has
the latest Newspoll numbers which will be in his paper tomorrow.

Dennis Shanahan, The Australian had a Newspoll this morning, you've polled another 1,000 or so
people since then, what's the latest?

DENNIS SHANAHAN, POLITICAL EDITOR, THE AUSTRALIAN: Well essentially, Leigh, the two party preferred
is 50-50. To be precise it's 50.2 to the Labor Party, and 49.8 to the Coalition, but the real
story, I think, in the numbers that Newspoll has, are in the primary vote and are in the seats and
States that are in New South Wales and Queensland.

LEIGH SALES: So tell us a little bit more about that?

DENNIS SHANAHAN: The two party preferred has been the bane of Julia Gillard's life during the
election campaign. The headlines have been running 52 to 48 and so forth and she's been worried
about a primary vote which has been too low and a protest vote and that's certainly what seems to
be coming through.

The primary vote for the Labor Party is down to 36.2 and for the Coalition it is up to 43.4. Now
the golden rules are the Coalition can't win government on 43 or less and that the Labor Party
can't win on a primary vote of less than 40.

Now they're both sitting on those golden numbers and it would seem that a huge fall away in
Queensland for the Labor Party has cost them overall support which just has to be offset with gains
in Victoria.

NEW SOUTH WALES is also very bad for the Labor Party in primary vote and in two party preferred.
The Coalition's ahead in both Queensland and New South Wales where all the seats are and where all
the marginal seats are that they fear to be lost.

On these numbers the Labor Party could lose, at worst case scenario, up to 25 seats.

LEIGH SALES: Queensland, of course, has the Kevin Rudd factor because he is a Queenslander. Why are
things so difficult for Labor in New South Wales?

DENNIS SHANAHAN: Well I think that the similar factor at work in New South Wales, as there is in
Queensland, and that is tainted Labor State governments.

It is clear, and we saw this at the Penrith by-election at the very beginning of the downfall of
Kevin Rudd, that State and Federal issues, or at least the brand of Labor, is melding together and
people have every right to take it on the Labor Party they see, particularly in New South Wales
where Julia Gillard was assisted to the leadership by the very same people who had assisted various
premiers in New South Wales out of their job and put Kristina Keneally into the job.

I think that there is a very large spread of the taint of New South Wales State Labor and State
Queensland Labor onto Federal Labor and Julia Gillard is paying the cost.

LEIGH SALES: What's your assessment of the campaign overall and the performances by each of the
leaders?

DENNIS SHANAHAN: Look I think that, personally, the two leaders have done very well indeed.
Certainly, Tony Abbott has performed beyond all expectations.

He has got the Coalition into at least a striking distance of government, when you know, two years
ago, three years ago he couldn't get a seconder for the leadership. So that for him, he has
performed very well, he's been very disciplined.

Labor expected him to make mistakes and he hasn't. Few, you know he didn't handle the National
Broadband well and he hasn't handled the economic argument well. But overall he's done very well.

Likewise Julia Gillard in a terrible situation where there was the so called 'leaks week' when a
whole range of Cabinet documents were leaked which damaged her standing and Labor went into
freefall in that week. She's recovered, but the question is now has she recovered enough after that
hit and will the momentum that is clearly with the Liberal Party now continue through to polling
day.

It's very tight, but it comes down to that momentum.

LEIGH SALES: Do you care, Dennis Shanahan, to make a brief prediction on which way you think it
will go?

DENNIS SHANAHAN: Well look on these numbers, on the primary vote numbers, you would have to say the
Coalition is more likely to win than Labor and probably, or possibly the most likely, result is a
hung Parliament.

It seems that Labor will lose its 13 seats to lose power. The question is will the Coalition win
enough to form government?

LEIGH SALES: Dennis Shanahan, the Political Editor of The Australian, thank you very much.

DENNIS SHANAHAN: Thank you Leigh.