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Australian Labor Party maintains election winning lead: polls

07-12-2010 11:27 BJT

CANBERRA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Australian Labor Party's popularity has slipped, but the party was maintaining an election- winning lead over the Coalition in two new opinion polls under new Prime Minister Julia Gillard, local media reported on Monday.

The latest Nielsen poll in Fairfax newspapers, and News Ltd's Galaxy poll on Monday both showed Labor leading the coalition by 52 percent to 48 on a two-party preferred basis.

Labor's support was down three points according to the Nielsen poll, but remained steady in the Galaxy polls since the last surveys, which were taken late last month after Gillard assumed the leadership from Kevin Rudd.

According to Australian Associated Press, the Nielsen poll said Labor's primary vote was down eight points to 39 percent from its last poll, but well up on the 33 percent the party held in June under Rudd.

Labor trailed the Coalition 47 to 53 in the same poll on a two- party preferred basis.

The Coalition's primary vote remained steady at 42 percent, according to Nielsen, but Gillard has a thumping 56-35 lead over Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, compared with her 55-35 lead in the last poll.

With Labor's plan for a regional asylum seeker processing center in East Timor now on the table, the Coalition now holds a narrow 44-42 lead over Labor when respondents asked which party was the best for handling asylum seeker policy.

When they were then asked which of the Coalition, Labor and The Greens had the best asylum seeker policy, the Coalition led on 34 percent (down one point), The Greens scored 20 percent and Labor had 25 percent support, a six point improvement.

According to the Galaxy poll, 63 percent of voters approve of Gillard's regional processing center plan, while 26 percent disapprove and 11 percent remained undecided.

But 59 percent of voters considered the proposal not well thought out, compared with 25 percent who said it was well thought out.

Galaxy said Labor's primary vote was down two points from the last poll, to 39 percent, while the Liberals and Nationals remained steady at 38 and 4 percent respectively.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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