Gloves off for election showdown

Sky News' political team, from left, Dan Bourchier, Laura Jayes, David Speers, Kieran Gilbert and Tom Connell pictured in Canberra.
Sky News' political team, from left, Dan Bourchier, Laura Jayes, David Speers, Kieran Gilbert and Tom Connell pictured in Canberra. Robert Edwards

AS Australians prepare to head to the polls tomorrow, David Speers and his team are gearing up for a marathon day of Federal Election coverage.

The Sky News political editor spearheads the channel's live Election Day coverage running from 5am to midnight.

"It's a long night of broadcasting but it tends to go very quickly," Speers tells The Guide.

"So much is happening and the adrenaline is pumping.

"These will be the results of weeks and months of campaigning. It's great fun picking through the results."

He understands many Aussies are feeling political fatigue after such a long campaign.

"The thing with a long campaign is for a lot of voters it becomes wallpaper they can tune out knowing it's going on and on and on," he says.

"Capturing their interest is a challenge, not just for the parties but for us as well. We're making it as relevant and accessible for as many viewers as we can.

"These federal election campaigns are the point at which you do see the gloves come off and the two sides hopefully lay out their plans for the future and step up the tempo of trying to sell their messages."

It's been a dramatic time for Speers personally as well, with his two-year-old daughter Olive put on life support the day the election was called.

"She had a severe attack of croup and had to be flow up to Sydney. We basically lived out of the Sydney Children's Hospital for the first two weeks of the campaign," he says.

"It was absolutely terrifying and traumatic, but thankfully she's fine now. Something like that definitely puts everything into perspective."

He believes both major parties have issues that will be hurdles at the ballot box.

"Obviously the hip pocket matters a lot to people when they're voting so I think negative gearing might be an issue that swings votes," he says.

"Labor's Medicare scare campaign might also concern some voters.

"Turnbull's big picture issue has been company tax cuts but his trouble has been translating what that will mean for voters."

Speers tips current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to win by a very narrow margin.

"My assumption is Malcolm will win with a reduced margin. Just how many seats he'll lose is hard to gauge," he says.

"It's going to be close and the polls all point to that, but what people are telling me is there's not the anger in the electorate to turf out a government. When a government is going to get kicked out you can see it from a mile away.

"I do think there's a mood for stability. We've been churning through a lot of PMs over the past few years."

Topics:  federal election 2016 sky news television

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