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Hawke's death marks sombre end to campaign


With polls showing the race has tightened in the final days, Scott Morrison wants people to know every vote will count at tomorrow’s federal election.

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“This election is extremely close and everybody’s vote is going to matter tomorrow,” the prime minister told Nova Radio on Friday.

“Sometimes I think people go into elections going ‘oh it’s already done and people know this and that’.

“Well no, that’s not the case. In this election, this is so close, and so every choice that everyone makes is going to make a big difference to the final outcome.”

The leader and his Labor rival Bill Shorten have one day left to convince voters they should lead Australia, but the campaign trail has been overshadowed by the passing of former Labor prime minister Bob Hawke.

The former leader died at his Sydney home on Thursday aged 89.

Shorten was going to spend Friday campaigning in marginal Queensland seats, but has changed plans as he mourns with the Labor Party.

“We have lost a favourite son,” he told reporters outside the Sydney Opera House on Thursday night.

“Bob Hawke loved Australia and Australia loved Bob Hawke. But his legacy will endure forever. Bob Hawke changed Australia for the better.”

Hawke’s final public act was to issue a joint statement with Paul Keating, the man who toppled him from the top job, in support of  Shorten.

“We all loved Bob Hawke. We’ll miss him a great deal. May he rest in peace,” Shorten said.

Morrison will start Friday campaigning in Townsville, where he took a break on Thursday night to make a statement about Hawke.

“He made Australia stronger through his contribution to public life,” he told reporters on the tarmac.

“He had a great intellect, he had enormous passion and he had courage, and that was able to sustain him in being the longest-serving Labor prime minister of all time.”

It is Hawke’s relationship with Australians that will be remembered best, the prime minister said on Friday.

“Ultimately, Bob Hawke went beyond politics.”

As the campaign reaches its end, recent polling shows Labor is still on track to win on Saturday.

But the opposition’s lead over the coalition has tightened 51 to 49 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, according to both an Ipsos poll for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and a YouGov/Galaxy poll for the Daily Telegraph.

The Ipsos result is tighter than the 52 to 48 per cent in Labor’s favour recorded in early May, with the new survey showing early voters have favoured the coalition over Labor by 53 to 47 per cent.

A series of YouGov Galaxy polls of marginal seats also show Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will hold on to his seat of Dickson by 51 to 49 per cent compared with Labor.

The surveys suggest a coalition win in Reid, Deakin and Flynn while Gilmore is tipped to go to Labor.

But the Queensland seats of Herbert (Labor) and Forde (LNP) and Victoria’s Liberal-held seat of La Trobe are on a knife’s edge at 50-50.


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