The decision to call the election today has been swayed by internal Labor Party research showing Ms Gillard has put the Government back into a competitive race with the Coalition
, with both parties now at 50/50.Party strategists from both camps agreed the election could be won or lost in crucial marginal seats
of western Sydney where around seven marginal seats are now in play.
Calling an election today leaves the Liberal Party without candidates in key Sydney seats Greenway and Parramatta, which were not due to be decided until tonight.
"It is extremely volatile . . . and there will be a lot of open races," another senior Labor source said.
"We expect that there will be a further tightening in the polls over the coming week."
However, in the wake of the election announcement, bookies have made Labor the clear favourite