Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott campaigned through the night as a key opinion poll Friday raised his hopes of a shock election win over the country's first woman prime minister.
Fitness fanatic Abbott, known as the "Mad Monk", ditched his night's sleep to visit a Sydney pub, police station and a flower market, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard started the last day of campaigning with a flurry of interviews.
"There are always undecided voters, and if I can get to a few undecided voters through an all-nighter, isn't that a good thing," Abbott said.
"I won't be going without sleep all the time forever. But I think to miss a bit of sleep on just one night in the build-up to an election, well I think people expect a lot of those they might make prime minister."
The frenetic final day of campaigning was given extra urgency as the respected Newspoll showed a 50-50 split between Gillard's Labor party and the Liberal/National coalition, erasing the government's slender lead.
A Galaxy survey showed Labor had maintained its 52-48 percent advantage heading into Saturday's election, a compulsory vote for some 14 million electors.
Welsh-born Gillard has struggled to dispel voter unease over her June party coup of elected leader Kevin Rudd, while Abbott, who once trained as a priest, has tempered his image as a colourful maverick in a tightly run campaign.
Defeat on Saturday would make Gillard's Labor Party the first single-term government since World War II, and return the Liberal/National Coalition to power after less than three years.