Crikey’s Cabbies have been out there ferrying voters here and there in the lead up to polling day. So what’s the mood of the nation? Who’ll be making the victory speech on Saturday night?

Bruce Tootell, Melbourne. Kevin. But I think for the first time in the campaign, the Liberals are making up ground. Are you ready for something really weird? Every person I speak to about politics is voting Liberal, every one of them. I haven’t struck one Labor voter. They’re mainly businessmen, so they lean that way, but it’s just amazing. It’s mostly the young and uneducated who are going to vote Labor. But I still think it will be a pretty big margin. We’ll know the result an hour after counting starts.

Ross Nelson, Sydney. I’ve done a bit of a Cab poll today, asking people which they are going to vote, and it’ll be Labor, comfortably. Even the ones who are voting Liberal have a sense of inevitable defeat about them. They don’t seem to be that concerned that there will be a change of government. What they’re doing now with this dirty tricks campaign in Jackie Kelly’s electorate isn’t doing them any favours. It’s become a national issue with John Laws talking about it — 1.6 million people listen to his radio show. He’s disgusted, and so are his listeners. That’s the story today and I can’t see Howard pulling anything out of the hat tomorrow.

Gerard Donaghy, Gold Coast. John Howard. I’ve been doing a survey in my Cab since Crikey started phoning up for an opinion, and it looks like Howard will scratch in. I don’t think he’ll get anywhere near enough seats in Queensland, but he’ll do enough to get across the line elsewhere. There’ll be a small swing back to Labor. When you ask people who’s going to win, they say labor. But when you dig a little deeper, they regret that fact, which indicates they are going to vote Liberal. That’s how I arrive at that conclusion on voter intentions. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to put the boat in and my son is spilling the ice for the esky all over the floor of the boat.

Con Vokalos, Adelaide. I reckon it’s going to be pretty close. Sixteen seats is a big margin to make up. The way I’ve been reading it, the die hard Libs are going with the Libs. The die hard Labor voters are going with Labor, and the undecideds started making their minds up last Friday. In SA, up to yesterday when the Xenophon-Bressington thing broke, they were all going Labor in the House of Reps and Xenophon in the Senate. So I think Labor will win South Australia. But nationally I think it’s too close to call. If they can peg them back to two or three seats, next time Labor will be cherry ripe to do it.

David Bradley, Sydney. I think the ALP will win, but Howard has clawed back some ground. The loss won’t be as great as it would have been if the election was help three weeks ago, but I can’t see him rolling on. I think Howard’s scare campaign will certainly jag some of the older demographic back. But the Liberal scare campaign on the unions is meaningless to young voters because they’ve never experienced a strike, unless it’s meant they’ve had a day off school, which they’re in favour of. There’s a whole generation for whom it just looks like a silly scare campaign. It needs to be a virtual landslide to Rudd to get the number of seats he needs, so I don’t think the final result will be a complete whitewash.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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