Vic premier expects tough election fight


After facing a confidence-denting opinion poll, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine predicts the state's upcoming election will be a tough, hard-fought battle.

A poll published this week predicted a 16-seat defeat for the Liberal-National coalition, which holds a one seat majority following the suspension of rogue independent MP Geoff Shaw.

Dr Napthine told the federal Liberal council in Melbourne that he expected a difficult campaign.

"It will be a tough, hard-fought election," Dr Napthine said on Friday.

"It will be a real test of our resolve and our commitment to work together as a team."

The Age/Nielsen poll shows Labor now has a commanding 59 per cent to 41 per cent lead over the coalition in two-party preferred terms based on voters' intended preference allocations.

The government's primary vote has also taken a hit, falling from 41 per cent to 37 per cent, with Labor attracting 42 per cent of voters and the Greens on 14 per cent.

Dr Napthine called on his party colleagues to support the re-election campaign.

"We would appreciate all the support of the great Liberal family across Australia," he said.

Dr Napthine said the coalition had proved to be good economic managers of the state's finances.

He said the Labor party's decisions on the Wonthaggi desalination plant and ending the poker machine monopoly were still costing Victorians money.