Prime Minister Kevin Rudd vowed to fight until “the last vote is cast” in a rousing speech declaring himself the “comeback kid for Australia” yesterday, one week out from national polls.
Rudd urged the party faithful not to give up hope, despite opinion polls showing the Tony Abbott-led conservatives as clear favorites to win Saturday’s election.
“To those who say that Mr Abbott has already won this election, I say this — never ever, ever underestimate the fighting spirit of the Australian Labor Party,” Rudd told a major rally in Brisbane.
“I have been in tougher spots before and come back from behind.
“As one young kid said to me the other day — ‘Kevin, we want you to be the comeback kid for Australia.’”
Rudd said he would “fight this election until the last vote is cast next Saturday night.”
“I believe we can prevail and I believe in the end we will prevail,” he said.
Rudd blasted Abbott’s “priorities, judgement and temperament” in his speech, after the opposition leader called the conflict in Syria as “baddies versus baddies” in a television interview yesterday.
The Rudd camp seized on the remarks, made as Australia prepares to assume the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council, as evidence Abbott was not ready for the international stage.
The latest opinion polls show the staunch Catholic and social conservative who once trained as a priest on track for a landslide win, with his Liberal-National coalition seen to pick up 86 lower house seats to Rudd’s 61.
But Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said there were still large numbers of undecided voters to win over in the final week of campaigning.