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Voters blitzed in final week of election camp -

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Voters blitzed in final week of election campaign

AM - Monday, 19 November , 2007 08:08:00

Reporter: Alexandra Kirk

TONY EASTLEY: With just five days of campaigning left, the Coalition is going all out with a
negative advertising blitz against Labor, highlighting economic management and what it says is the
danger of wall-to-wall Labor administrations across the nation.

Labor on the other hand is mailing out DVDs containing a message from Kevin Rudd to hundreds of
thousands of voters in key marginal seats.

Labor thinks it has momentum on its side, while the Coalition believes it can get across the line
if everything goes to plan.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: It's the final week of the John Howard versus Kevin Rudd contest.

As Mr Rudd casts himself as the leader for the future and courts younger voters, he was happy to
face questions from one of Australia's most popular TV stars, Rove McManus last night, admitting he
was a nerd but could beat Mr Howard in a bar fight.

ROVE MCMANUS: What's the rudest word you can say in Mandarin?

KEVIN RUDD: (laughs)

(audience laughs)

There are too many to choose from.

ROVE MCMANUS: (laughs) Kevin Rudd leader of the Opposition and possible future Prime Minister, who
would you turn gay for?

KEVIN RUDD: There's only one person for me, it's my wife Therese.

ROVE MCMANUS: Aww. Is she a man?

(audience laughs)

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Prime Minister, though, turned down an offer to appear on the show, sticking to
a serious tone, heading to Western Australia where the Liberals hope to win two seats from Labor,
to help make up for expected losses elsewhere.

JOHN HOWARD: The maintenance of our industrial relations policy will keep the mining boom going. Mr
Rudd knows the implementation of his policy will end of the mining boom.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Liberal strategists say no matter what the latest string of polls and commentators
say, Labor's lead has narrowed and the Government's "within striking distance" of a win.

It's trench warfare now in marginal seats.

In a federal campaign first, Labor's sending a special DVD with an address by Kevin Rudd to
hundreds of thousands of voters in 20 key marginal seats, it needs to win 16 to form Government,
while the Coalition's releasing a series of new ads to quote "belt out" a double message.

Finance Minister Nick Minchin.

NICK MINCHIN: We'll be urging voters not to take the risk of letting Mr Rudd, Mr Swan and Ms
Gillard have the responsibility for managing Australia's national economy.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Kevin Rudd says, in contrast, Labor will spend the next five days putting out a
positive message.

KEVIN RUDD: What I'll be campaigning on this week is that this election is a referendum on
Australia's future and specifically a referendum on whether our education system has a future.
Whether we're going to invest in a world-class education system or continue to fall behind.

Mr Howard is going to conduct this entire week on the basis of a negative fear campaign because he
has no plans for the future and in part, in large part, that's because he's said he's not going to
be here for the future, he's retiring, so what's the point?

TONY EASTLEY: Labor leader Kevin Rudd ending Alexandra Kirk's report.