Australia's opposition Liberal-National coalition has widened its lead over the Labor government in an opinion poll, signaling leader Tony Abbott may replace Kevin Rudd as prime minister after the Sept. 7 election.

Support for the coalition rose to 53 percent on a two-party preferred basis last week from 52 percent two weeks earlier, while those voters backing the ruling Labor Party fell one point to 47 percent, according to a Herald-Nielsen poll published in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper Saturday. Support for Rudd as preferred prime minister fell to 48 percent from 50 percent while 45 percent of those surveyed backed Abbott, up from 42 percent.

"I don't believe in the polls, it's a very, very close race," Abbott told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday. "This campaign still has a long, long way to run."