All numbers point to Shorten victory

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Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten walks past the campaign bus in Sydney, Monday, May 13, 2019. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

All the numbers the experts use to predict elections scream Labor will win on Saturday.

The major polls sit at 51-49 per cent on the two-party preferred vote. Some polls put it at 52-48.

The coalition is already in minority and needs to win seats to hold power.

At the 2016 federal election, Victoria was mainly ignored because almost no electorates were in play - this time the coalition has been sandbagging what should be safe seats.

Newspoll shows the coalition's primary vote in Queensland is down 7.2 per cent compared to where it was under Malcolm Turnbull.

The numbers aren't kind to the coalition.

But Scott Morrison's campaign team has run a strategy aimed to not just hold the line but also win enough seats to hold power.

In the first weeks of the campaign, the prime minister mainly visited Liberal seats, trying to shore up voters' support.

But during the campaign the focus shifted to seats the coalition could win off Labor and independents.

All of a sudden the two northern Tasmanian seats were getting hammered with coalition visits.

The Sydney seat of Lindsay, held by outgoing Labor MP Emma Husar, got regular visits.

Anne Aly's seat of Cowan in Perth got the same treatment from Morrison.

The Liberal campaign was built on a no-losers federal budget and relentless attacks on Labor's policy agenda.

Bill Shorten made his policy choices well before the times turned in his favour.

Labor's negative gearing and superannuation changes were years in the making. The franking credits decision was announced a year ago.

The party was just ahead in the polls until Malcolm Turnbull was dumped in August. Labor jumped out to a huge lead.

It's since come back, in part because the coalition has worked hard to scare people about Labor's policies.

Shorten had a chance to dial back his policy agenda but chose to stick with it. The hard decisions had been made, why chop and change?

The coalition believes those policies have brought back some of those voters who were angry when Turnbull was axed.

But Shorten has been happy to sacrifice some of those voters to secure a mandate from the wider Australian public for serious reform.

The money secured from ending franking credit handouts, axing negative gearing, changing family trusts and reworking superannuation concessions will be redistributed.

Medicare will be expanded to cover more out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients, while all three-year-olds will get kinder and childcare will be cheaper.

Funding for state schools and hospitals will be increased.

Shorten also isn't afraid to talk about the working class and class warfare - two terms that fell out of favour under John Howard.

But even though Shorten has been speaking about those issues for months, and sometimes years, out on the campaign trail the press pack kept finding people who had no idea what Labor was promising.

Despite targeted advertising online, pieces on radio, TV and in print, as well as lengthy media coverage, some people just don't like to listen.

Labor's campaign has relied heavily on Team Shorten, while the Liberals have stuck with President Morrison.

If voters don't like Bill, then maybe they'll like Tanya, Penny or Albo.

But the Liberals don't have that luxury, in part because their most popular MPs are quitting, struggling to hold onto their seats, or inspire hate in other parts of the country.

The coalition has a narrow path to victory. Hold almost everything it has in Victoria, WA, and Queensland. Pick up some extra seats in Tasmania and NSW to offset any losses.

The Labor path to victory seems much easier. The coalition seats around Brisbane are in major danger. Liberal seats in Victoria and WA are facing swings.

From union man, to factional leader, to the man likely to lead Labor from opposition into government, Shorten is on the brink of a historic victory.

But there are always surprises on election night, and those undecided voters who don't pay attention to politics will have a big say.

Morrison has run a disciplined campaign as leader, and he will maintain his push right up until 6pm on Saturday.

That's when Labor will find out if the numbers really are on their side.

© AAP 2019