Morrison prays pre-poll votes favour him

Morrison prays pre-poll votes favour him


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Scott Morrison is spending his election morning in Tasmania before flying to Sydney to vote.

Scott Morrison is spending his election morning in Tasmania before flying to Sydney to vote.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is ready for a long night ahead.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is keeping the faith as he stares down a likely election defeat, hoping that millions of Australians who voted early have sided with the coalition.

All signs suggest the coalition will be sent packing after a narrow Labor win on Saturday night.

"I think it will be a long night. I've always said this election will be close," Mr Morrison told Sunrise on Network Seven.

"Five weeks ago people weren't saying that, but I've always known it to be the case."

The final Newspoll of the campaign shows Labor edging ahead of the coalition by 51.5 to 48.5 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

But both sides believe battles in 20 key marginal seats across the country will decide the result.

Mr Morrison spent his election morning in northern Tasmania, where the coalition is trying to take the marginal seats of Bass and Braddon from Labor.

The Morrison team has visited Tasmania twice in the final week, pointing to tightening internal polls that suggest they could snatch the electorates to offset expected losses in Victoria.

He speculated the last time there was a prime minister in Tasmania on polling day was when Tasmanian-born Joseph Lyons was in office during the 1930s.

The party's chances in the sprawling rural seat of Lyons were dealt a blow at the beginning of the campaign, when Liberal candidate Jessica Whelan was disendorsed after making anti-Muslim comments on Facebook.

The decision has forced the Morrison campaign to back the Nationals candidate Deanna Hutchinson - splitting its vote in the key seat.

"They are our candidate down there in Lyons and we want to wish them all the best," Mr Morrison said.

"I think what is interesting about Lyons is that Labor is doing so badly in Lyons."

Mr Morrison noted more than four million Australians had pre-polled across the country before election day, setting a new record.

He hopes they have made their early decision in favour of the coalition.

"There is a clear choice," he said.

Mr Morrison flies to Sydney on Saturday afternoon to cast his own vote in the Sutherland Shire, before visiting his parents Marion and John.

Australian Associated Press

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