New poll numbers secure Gillard’s job as PM until Australian elections
The Australian Labor party led by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard has finally become competitive in the latest national polls against the Liberal coalition.
Labor primary vote rose by 3 percentage points to 36% while Liberals dropped by 5 to 41%, according to a Newspoll survey. But a Nielsen poll released soon after showed a 50-50 split between the two main parties.
Despite the recent rise in numbers, the opposition led by Tony Abbott would still gain a comfortable majority to govern in the next election, however Ms. Gillard is the preferred leader among the two. Both polls confirmed that Australians prefer Gillard as Prime Minister when compared to Abbott. In the Newspoll, the shift was substantial as Gillard widened her lead as the preferred PM to 14 points while in Nielsen she has a 3 point lead over Abbott.
But if polls are to be believed, then Australians do not want either of these two politicians to lead their respective parties into the next election which have to be held by late 2013. The Nielsen survey reported the Australian public would like to see deposed Labor leader and PM Kevin Rudd back in the saddle against Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the Liberals.
Incidentally, Gillard was the loyal deputy to Rudd who then deposed him in a palace coup and survived a leadership challenge from her predecessor this February. But this is by far the best performance of Gillard and the Labor party since 2010 after the minority government took office and most likely secures Gillard’s job until the next general elections.
Most observers give Gillard a lot of credit for the turn around for her ability to take tough decisions and stand by them especially on issues such as carbon tax, refugees as well as her vision on education.
Both Gillard and Abbott faced series of questions about their integrity before they joined politics and both have been vilified by political opponents. There was public sympathy for Gillard after her father’s death and the carbon tax not being remotely as disastrous as the opposition predicted have swung the public back in the Prime Minister’s favour.
Whether the momentum can be sustained or not – only time can tell. But there is no denying the poll momentum now lies with the incumbent Australian Prime Minister.