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CANBERRA, Jan 30 AAP

January 30 2013, 2:28PM

The coalition is a firm favourite with at least one bookmaker to win the September election.

Less than an hour after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the September 14 poll, Sportsbet had the Tony Abbott-led coalition as a $1.25 favourite.

A Labor return to government was paying $3.75.

A JWS Research poll of 54 marginal seats, published by Fairfax Media on Tuesday, predicted federal Labor could lose 18 seats and its hold on government.