In a last ditch attempt to save himself from a seemingly impending defeat 6 days away, Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, on Sunday, promised a host of measures to woo voters back. His assurances, including tax breaks and education programmes and plans to counteract the country's slowing economy, came as opinion polls showed him slipping towards a landslide defeat.
Speaking in Queensland, at the main campaign launch, Rudd promised a "New Way." His effort was to translate voter nervousness about spending cuts being promised by the conservative opposition. He warned that such measures would hurt jobs and business confidence.
"In this election we are now engaged in the fight of our lives," he was reported to have told thousands of cheering supporters.
"Never, ever, ever underestimate my fighting spirit as your prime minister. I have been in tougher spots before and come back from behind," Mr Rudd added
Mr Rudd's edginess was understandable. The tougher spots he suggested were obvious - at least in national politics. As leader of Australia's first minority government in decades, Mr Rudd came back to power, after being toppled in 2010 by Julia Gillard, who became Australia's first female premier, with whom he had a long and bitter public infighting.
Reuters reported that much of the anger against Mr Rudd's Labor comes from a leadership fight that has simmered through its 6years in power.
Uneasiness continues to be evident, as Ms Gillard did not attend Mr Rudd's campaign launch on Sunday.
In his campaign address, Mr Rudd dismissed opinion polls that show opposition leader Tony Abbott's conservative coalition is headed for a clear victory.
"For those who say the fight is up, I say: 'You haven't seen anything yet,'" he was reported to have said.
Rudd's election promises included increase tax deductions that 3.2 million small businesses could claim on equipment investment. Media reports said the pledge would cost the government AU$200 million over 4 years in lost tax revenue.
Reports said the government would also create between AU$156 million and AU$624 million in additional work for Australian industry a year by legislating to ensure that infrastructure projects worth more than AU$300 million engage more local contractors.
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