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Updated: August 2, 2010 09:44 IST

'Australian election too close to call'

DPA
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Australia's opposition leader Tony Abbott speaks during the Federal Election leaders debate with Prime Minister Julia Gillard (left), at the National Press Club in Canberra recently.
AP
Australia's opposition leader Tony Abbott speaks during the Federal Election leaders debate with Prime Minister Julia Gillard (left), at the National Press Club in Canberra recently.

A poll conducted by an Australian newspaper has predicted Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labour losing more of its lead over Tony Abbott’s conservatives in August 21 parliamentary elections

The rivals are neck-and-neck with three weeks to go before Australians vote in August 21 parliamentary elections, a poll Monday showed.

The Newspoll commissioned by The Australian newspaper has Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Labour losing more of its lead over Tony Abbott’s conservatives.

The poll echoes the weekend’s Nielsen poll, commissioned by The Sydney Morning Herald, which had the Liberals leading 52 per cent to 48 per cent.

The soundings of voting intentions are a bad omen for Ms. Gillard, who justified replacing Kevin Rudd as party leader five weeks ago over his loss of voter support.

After enjoying the honeymoon that came with being the first female prime minister, party infighting has seen Ms. Gillard give up an election—winning lead.

Her campaign has been derailed by alleged attempts by Mr. Rudd, currently in hospital after gall-bladder surgery, to sabotage Labour’s bid for a second term.

Ms. Gillard, who has not spoken to Mr. Rudd since the campaign began nor visited him in hospital, has promised to give him a senior cabinet post if Labour retains government.

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