Tuesday 6 September 2011

Newspoll | further grim news for a beleagued ALP

Tony Abbott's record lead over Julia Gillard: Newspoll
Julia Gillard's personal support has plunged to a new low as Tony Abbott outstrips her as preferred prime minister and Kevin Rudd surges ahead as the best person to lead Labor.

The Prime Minister appears to have borne the brunt of public disapproval over the failure last week of the government's plan to send 800 asylum-seekers to Malaysia. Voter satisfaction with Ms Gillard, who is now forced to deal with the Opposition Leader to keep alive the option of processing asylum-seekers overseas, fell six points to a record low of 23 per cent as dissatisfaction jumped seven points to 68 per cent.

The only modern prime minister with worse personal support was Paul Keating, who had a satisfaction level of 17 per cent and dissatisfaction of 74 per cent in August 1993.

Ms Gillard's net satisfaction rating - the difference between voter satisfaction and dissatisfaction - is now minus 45 per cent. As Ms Gillard's personal standing fell, Mr Abbott jumped clear to a nine-point lead over her as the preferred prime minister, with a rise in support from 39 per cent to 43 per cent. Ms Gillard's support fell four points to a new low of 34 per cent.

Just before Ms Gillard replaced Mr Rudd as Labor leader last year, Mr Rudd's lead was only 45 per cent to 40 per cent over his then deputy leader.

Although there are no moves for a challenge against Ms Gillard, Mr Rudd's public popularity continues to put him as the replacement candidate preferred by Labor MPs trying to save their seats.

After a devastating decision in the High Court last week wiped out the Prime Minister's Malaysia Solution for asylum-seekers, Labor's primary vote has stuck at a record low of 27 per cent.

The Coalition's has risen to 50 per cent - the highest since John Howard was prime minister at the time of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Although Labor's primary vote remained unchanged, the record Coalition vote and a two-point fall in Greens support from 14 to 12 per cent in the past fortnight resulted in a record two-party-preferred result for the Coalition.

Based on preference flows at the last election, the Coalition has an all-time high two-party-preferred vote of 59 per cent compared with Labor's 41 per cent. Such a result at an election would reduce Labor to a rump of a party, wiping out dozens of Labor MPs including many ministers.

At the August 21 election last year the ALP secured 50.1 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote compared with the Coalition's 49.9 per cent.

Mr Abbott's net satisfaction rating remains negative at minus 13 but dissatisfaction with the Opposition Leader fell three points to 52 per cent in the past two weeks and satisfaction rose three points to 39 per cent.

Mr Abbott has accused the Gillard government of incompetence over the failure of the Malaysia Solution and demanded Labor adopt the Howard-era policy of sending asylum-seekers to Nauru for offshore processing.

Mr Abbott has been able to offer the government some support on an asylum-seeker policy while the Greens are seeking a change to have all asylum-seekers processed on Australian soil.

Ms Gillard yesterday refused to cede ground to Mr Abbott and said he could not just demand a narrow solution based on Nauru. "I believe if Mr Abbott is sincere about this offer, then he needs to make it very clear that he is talking about working with the government on offshore processing generally, not on his narrow solution," she said.

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