Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was preaching prudence in Townsville on Saturday, swearing that polling day would be "very close" despite mounting evidence to the contrary. But the actions of his local Coalition candidate gave the game away.
Ewen Jones, a former banker who was brought up in Texas (Queensland), could not keep the grin from his face, while standing beside his party leader. After Mr Abbott held the line, saying it was "inevitable the polls will tighten in the last week", the big, broad country politician started dancing a jig.
Cock-a-hoop at the likely prospect of victory in the marginal north Queensland seat of Herbert, Mr Jones began fist pumping and dancing in the dirt, kicking up the dust with his heels.
"You're an absolute bloody superstar," he told his party leader. Later, he added some expletives to his effusive praise for Mr Abbott.
Mr Jones was buoyed by a poll in that morning's local newspaper, suggesting he will waltz to victory. Even the presence of rotting fish, dumped in the nearby scrub, did not dampen enthusiasm for the Coalition.
As the government's campaign crumbles, the Coalition is trying not to look cocky. But signs of triumphalism are starting to show.
Mr Abbott was warmly received on his first campaign trip to north Queensland. While promising to help flood-proof a road in Townsville, he met locals John and Carol Pocklington.
The couple have already voted for the Coalition. "I'm all for him," Mr Pocklington said. "I'm just disgusted with the way the government has been taken down the drain."
Mrs Pocklington described Mr Abbott as a "thinker". "I think he thinks things through before he engages his mouth," she said.
But Mr Abbott is content to keep the focus on the government in the final days of the campaign. He described Labor as "ruthless campaigners" and warned the party would "hit new lows" in the days leading to the September 7 poll.
What thinking the Opposition Leader is doing revolves around low-risk, stage-managed photo opportunities for the media.
Mr Abbott flew from Townsville to a trucking factory in Rockhampton late Saturday morning, where he donned a fluorescent vest to inspect the bowels of a big rig. The regional Queensland city is in the marginal Labor seat of Capricornia.
"Business is not bad, hopefully it will be better next week," the company's manager said. "That's why we're here . . . to give you the right result," Mr Abbott said.
Later, he politely chided local Coalition candidate Michelle Landry for straying off message, by neglecting to repeat the opposition's promise to "scrap the carbon tax".
"Sorry," she told her leader.
Mr Abbott insisted a week was a long time in politics. "We've got one hard fought week to go," he said. But every day brings him closer to what seems an inevitable victory.