Labor senator Penny Wong says the government have a “20-seat lead” in the upcoming federal election.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull finally announced the July 2 election on Sunday and Labor received a quick boost – leading 51-49 on a two-party preferred basis in the latest Newspoll, published in The Australian.
But Senator Wong said because the Turnbull government is in its first term, they’ll prove very tough to beat.
“This is a first term government,” Senator Wong said on ABC radio.
“A first term government is very hard to defeat – we start a long way behind.
“They’ve got a 20-seat lead.”
Senator Wong also said that voters are faced with a choice between very different views about the future.
She says Labor wants to invest in schools, universities and health in the election.
Liberal senator Mathias Cormann believes the election will be “very close” and could go down to the wire.
“This is a very close election,” Senator Cormann told ABC.
“It’s an election where every single vote will matter.
“And every single Australian will have to carefully weigh up their decision – whether they’ll support our plans for jobs and growth or whether they want to put that at risk.”
There was some good news for the Coalition in the latest Newspoll, which showed that Mr Turnbull had increased his standing as preferred Prime Minister.
He leads Opposition Leader Bill Shorten 49 per cent to 27 per cent. It was his first increase since November last year.