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Australian Labor Party still struggling in poll

10-11-2011 11:20 BJT

by Vienna Ma

CANBERRA, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Latest poll on Tuesday showed Australian Labor Party (ALP) is still struggling to win public support against the coalition party, and the recent poor figures continue to see speculations of Labor leadership change.

The latest Newspoll survey of 1,146 voters published in The Australian newspaper showed ALP's primary vote has lift from record low of 26 percent in September to 29 percent in October. Despite Labor's rise, the coalition's primary vote lifted from 48 percent to 49 percent as the Greens' vote dropped one point to 12 percent.

On a two-party preferred basis, the coalition leading Labor 57 to 43.

The poll also showed the coalition leading or equalling Labor on all key electoral issues for the first time, as the government' s contentious carbon tax and migration amendment bills go before parliament this week.

Just 17 percent of respondents rated Labor as the best party to handle asylum seekers arriving in Australia, compared with 44 percent for the coalition.

The coalition has overtaken Labor as the best party to deal with climate change, with 31 percent of respondents backing the opposition's approach, compared with 28 percent for the government on the eve of carbon tax legislation reaching parliament.

Labor's lead on industrial relations, the party's traditional strong point, has also been seriously eroded with just 39 percent of people surveyed backing the government, down from 53 percent in July 2010. The coalition also has a dramatic lead over Labor of 47 to 28 on the economy.

On the vital question of who would make the better prime minister, there was no change, with Prime Minister and Labor Leader Julia Gillard on 35 percent and Coalition Leader Tony Abbott on 40 percent. This is the eighth consecutive Newspoll survey since June in which Abbott has headed Gillard as preferred prime minister.

Labor's primary vote has been below 30 percent since the end of June, sparking speculation of a coming back of former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

However, a Federal Labor member of parliament (MP), Graham Perrett, who holds one of the most marginal seats in the country, rejected the speculation and told Fairfax Media that he will quit Parliament if Gillard is overthrown as leader.

Perrett holds the seat of Moreton in Queensland, with a margin of just 1.1 percent. If he did quit, it would prompt an early election.

"This is not about loyalty to Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd, it's about loyalty to the people of Moreton," he said on Tuesday. "This is about keeping faith with the people who put me in office."

Gillard seized the Labor leadership from Rudd in June last year, saying she needed to take over because a "good government lost its way". At that time, Rudd was struggling to sell his mining tax plan, which saw his popularity fall to record low.


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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