Oz Julia Gillard takes lead in opinion polls

With just a week left for voting, Australia appears to be headed for a closest ever election race as the ruling Labor and Opposition Liberal parties running neck-to-neck, but opinion polls gave Prime Minster, Ms Julia Gillard, a last minute edge.

After trailing for weeks in the Gallup polls, Ms Gillard, Australia's first woman Prime Minister, gained a four per cent lead over Mr Tony Abbott's Conservative Liberal National Coalition in the campaign's crucial final week.

Opinion polls showed Labor ahead of Liberals in New South Wales and also surging ahead in Victoria, but trailing in Queensland.

Labor surged to a strong 53-47 per cent lead a week from the election, with a new poll also showing a sharp fall in Opposition Leader, Mr Tony Abbott's approval, according to 'The Age' on Saturday.

Having made inroads into Victoria, the Age said Labor might romp home with the narrowest margins.

Elated by her late upswing, Ms Gillard said, "I think we are heading towards one of the closest, tightest races in Australia's history."

"Its going to be a nail-biter of Saturday night," the flame haired Ms Gillard, who has led Australia for just seven weeks, said.

She took the top slot in June after the ruling Labor party axed the elected prime minister Kevin Rudd, in a backroom coup.

While, the Labor has put cleaner climate on top of the agenda, the Liberals have vowed greater engagement with democratic nations like India.

The Liberals have also vowed to allow exports of uranium to New Delhi, stalled long by the Labor regime.

In the polls, Ms Gillard has widened her advantage as preferred Prime Minister.

The Opposition Leader's approval rate was down 5 points to 45 per cent while Gillard's approval was up 2 points to 54 per cent.

Mr Abbott said he had always maintained the Coalition faced huge hurdles running against an incumbent government.

"There is a clear choice for the Australian people, I want to say that I will be working every minute of every hour of every day over the next week to try to ensure that we get a competent grown up government," Abbott said.

"This is a good poll for Labor, but there are reasons for caution," said Nielsen pollster John Stirton.

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