Pollsters weigh in on Albo's chances to win the top job

CHALLENGES: Anthony Albanese on the campaign trail.
CHALLENGES: Anthony Albanese on the campaign trail.

If the polls are anything to go by, the inner west's own Anthony Albanese is in with a good chance to be Australia's next Prime Minister.

"Labor are the favourites. They've been ahead in the polls for a long time, by more than they were in the last election," Ben Raue, analyst for the Tally Room, told Inner West Review.

"Anthony Albanese is slightly more popular than Bill Shorten was, but more importantly Scott Morrison is a lot less popular than he was three years ago. I would be slightly surprised if Labor didn't win."

Mr Raue isn't the only pollster predicting a win for Labor. Leichhardt-based pundit Peter Lewis, a principal of Essential Media, also thinks Labor are in with a good chance - though it won't be a walk in the park.

"The challenge is to connect with voters who may not be engaged with politics a lot of the time and do something that goes against our natural instinct to avoid change," he said.

"Elections are a game of numbers and the key seats are determined late in the election campaign so what Labor needs to do from here on in is present a positive agenda that contrasts with the government's."

The challenge is to connect with voters who may not be engaged with politics a lot of the time and do something that goes against our natural instinct to avoid change

Peter Lewis

Essential Media's latest opinion poll has Labor leading the Coalition at 49 per cent to 45 per cent on a two-party preferred basis; 6 per cent of voters remain undecided. Labor currently holds 68 seats and, to get a majority in its own right, will need to win seven more seats nationally. To lose its majority the Coalition only needs to lose one seat.

Mr Raue said with a number of independents polling well in inner city Liberal seats, a hung parliament is a possibility.

"Labor could probably form a government with a couple less seats than that with support from the crossbench in a hung parliament - certainly the Greens and independents like Andrew Wilkie, while not making any formal alliances, will lean towards Labor in the end," said Mr Raue.

"Except for maybe a couple of seats where the Greens are competitive, there's not many seats where crossbenchers might win extra seats from the Labor side."

Mr Raue says the key seats at play in Greater Sydney are the Labor-held seat of Dobell and Liberal-held seat of Robertson on the Central Coast, the Labor-held seat of Parramatta, and Reid, a historically Labor seat which neighbours Grayndler and is currently held by Liberal Fiona Martin.

Mr Lewis agrees Reid is a key battleground.

"Reid and Bennelong are seats that Labor thinks are in their hitting zone because they're higher income and slightly more engaged - but the risk for Labor is that could lead to losing outer suburban or rural seats. They have to play both a pick-up strategy and hold on strategy," he said.

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