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Coalition Closes Gap On Labor In New Opinion Polls Ahead Of Election Being Called

A senior minister has defended the federal coalition's poor standing in the latest set of opinion polls, ahead of the government firing the starting gun on the election.

A Newspoll suggests the coalition is closing the gap on the primary vote, with support for Labor slipping slightly in the wake of the federal budget, but the opposition still appears in the box seat for victory.

The poll, conducted for The Australian, shows 38 per cent of voters plumping for Labor to form the next government - a fall of three percentage points since the last survey - with the coalition improving a point to 36 per cent.

The findings mean the primary contest has tightened to just two points from a six-point margin three weeks ago.

On a two-party preferred basis, Labor is ahead 54 per cent to 46 per cent for the government, which if realised at the May election could translate to a national swing of more than five per cent.

But Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says while the polls aren't being ignored, it's not the first time the coalition has been behind in the leadup to an election.

"(Election day) is the one that counts and obviously this isn't our first rodeo - we've been here and done this before," Mr Littleproud told the Nine Network on Monday.

"What Australians will now do is start to put the ruler of (Opposition Leader) Anthony Albanese and what he stands for. There are a lot of platitudes flying around at the moment and not a lot of detail."

Labor's primary vote slip appeared to have been picked up by the Greens, which saw a two-point jump in support to 10 per cent, while Pauline Hanson's One Nation and the United Australia Party remain unchanged on three per cent, according to Newspoll.

An Ipsos poll published by The Australian Financial Review shows the two-party vote gap has widened slightly to 10 points, despite the government's budget offering of $8.6 billion in cost of living measures, with Labor ahead 55-45 per cent.

When seven per cent of undecided voters are excluded, the gap narrows slightly to 51-42 per cent.

Mr Albanese is one point ahead of Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister in the Ipsos poll, with 38 per cent of Australians leaning toward the opposition leader.

The Labor leader will be in Brisbane on Monday alongside Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to spruik a promise to reduce road congestion in the capital.

Mr Albanese says he's hopeful about winning seats in Queensland - like Leichhardt, Flynn and Capricornia - as well as a host of seats in inner Brisbane electorates.

"We are campaigning strongly across the board and one of the things about Queensland is when it swings, it swings big," he told Brisbane radio 4BC.

"One of the things that strikes me in seats like Brisbane is people come up and talk about climate change, and they know Scott Morrison just hasn't taken that issue seriously - I believe we're a good shot in seats like that."

Labor has also promised to put a cap on home care fees if it wins, with Mr Albanese saying elderly clients will be able to be confident their money is going directly to care - not management bonuses, new office fit-outs or glossy marketing schemes.

Meanwhile, Mr Morrison will be in Melbourne spruiking the government's manufacturing and apprenticeships credentials, following last week's budget which included a cash bonus for apprentices and wage subsidies for employers who take them on.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says the budget outlined a clear choice on a stronger economy underpinned by large infrastructure projects.

"(Infrastructure) is something our nation has got to do in light of the circumstances of what we see with China pushing forward and becoming a real and imminent threat to Australia," he told the Seven Network.

"People are trying to say it's not a referendum for or against the government, it's actually a choice."