Australian Prime Minister John Howard has vowed to lead his party into this year's election, despite trailing badly in opinion polls.
Mr Howard has bounced back before
He told reporters that he had never run from a fight before "and I don't intend to do so now".
Mr Howard, who has been prime minister for 11 years, must call an election by the year's end. Polls suggest he is facing overwhelming defeat.
He is reported to have been pressured by senior colleagues to quit.
But a Sky News report that Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull had urged him to stand down was denied by the two ministers' offices.
Some within Mr Howard's ruling Liberal Party want to see the 68-year-old move aside for 50-year-old Treasurer Peter Costello, long considered his heir apparent.
Mr Howard told reporters that the issue over who would lead the party into the next election was settled last year. "It's not in the party's interests to revisit it," he said.
"I believe the next election will be difficult for the coalition, but we can win it," he went on.
Polls suggest Kevin Rudd's Labor Party is on course to win
"And I hope people understand from observing me in 30-odd years of public life that I have never run from a fight before, and I don't intend to do so now."
Opinion polls over the past year have shown Mr Howard consistently lagging behind his main rival, Kevin Rudd, 49, of the opposition Labor Party.
There are a variety of reasons why Mr Howard is unpopular, the BBC's Nick Bryant says.
His close alliance with the Bush administration, particularly over the Iraq War, has damaged him. His stance on the environment and labour reform has also weakened him domestically.
Mr Howard is known for his resilience and has bounced back from bad positions in the past to win elections, our correspondent says.
But with current polls suggesting the government faces complete annihilation in the election, the feeling in the Liberal Party is that a new leader might mitigate its losses, he adds.