Kevin Rudd is urging voters with niggling doubts about Tony Abbott to listen to their instincts and not support the coalition.
With just days to the federal election, Labor has been dealt more bad news with the latest Newspoll showing the opposition leader overtaking Mr Rudd as preferred prime minister for the first time.
The poll, published in The Australian on Monday, also suggests Labor is facing a wipe-out with the two-party preferred vote showing Labor on 46 per cent compared to the coalition’s 54 per cent.
Mr Rudd said Labor always faced an uphill battle, but there was still much to fight for in the dying days of the election campaign.
“We entered this campaign as the underdog, we remain the underdog, let’s call a spade a spade,” he told the Seven Network on Monday.
Labor was concerned about Mr Abbott’s plans for school and hospital funding, job security and his unfair paid parental leave scheme, Mr Rudd said.
He said voters were more interested in policies than opinion polls, and he said there were a lot of unanswered questions about Mr Abbott’s plans.
“If you’re uncertain about what Mr Abbott’s putting out there, then I think listen to your instincts and don’t vote for him,” he told the Nine Network.
Labor’s plans had been laid bare and costed for voters, and now it was time for Mr Abbott to do the same, he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese insisted Labor could still win.
“Polls are polls. Polls take opinion at a point in time,” he told ABC radio.
“What they shows is that Tony Abbott is the significant favourite to win this Saturday.”
Mr Albanese said people needed to think through just what a coalition victory would mean for their schools, hospitals, jobs, penalty rates and working conditions.
“If they are unsure of any of those things, they shouldn’t vote for him,” he said.
Employment, Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor said Labor still believed it could win and Mr Abbott would be judged harshly on a number of fronts.
“I think he’ll be marked down by the Australian people thinking he can get to an election without telling them what his plans are, without telling them where his cuts are, (for) assuming he’s won,” Mr O’Connor told AAP on Monday.
“That’s a very contemptuous way to treat the electors of Australia.
“We will say to the Australian people you’re not sure of what he will do – don’t vote for him.
“We made mistakes but on the big issues we’ve got them right.
“We’ve got a plan for Australia’s future which involves looking after everyone and not just a few.”