Oz PM Gillard loses more ground in latest poll

The latest poll put satisfaction with Julia Gillard at just 30 per cent, with 55 per cent saying they were unimpressed with her performance.

Melbourne: Australian Prime Minister
Julia Gillard has again fared badly in the latest poll
published today that said she would lose to conservative
opposition if an election was held.

The latest poll, taken over the weekend, put
satisfaction with Gillard at just 30 per cent, with 55 per
cent saying they were unimpressed with her performance,--
giving her a net satisfaction rating of minus 25, according to
media reports on Wednesday.

It was her lowest satisfaction rating on record, and
worse than that of ex-leader Kevin Rudd, whose plunging
popularity saw Gillard depose him just about 12 months ago.

Rudd`s worst net satisfaction rating, when he was axed
was minus 19.

Her ruling Labour party slumped to 45 per cent of the
vote, from 50.1 per cent at last year election and 48 per
cent two weeks ago, with the conservative Liberal/National
coalition in a comfortable lead on 55 per cent.

Gillard`s popularity has steadily waned in recent
months as she attempts to sell a tax on carbon pollution and
controversial plans to swap 800 boat people for 4,000 refugees
living in Malaysia.

While Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has lagged
significantly behind Gillard in the preferred prime minister
stakes, he has now narrowed the gap to only three points -
equal to the margin of error in the poll.

Abbott seized on the figures after he said in Canberra
that the government`s stocks had tanked since the announcement
of the carbon tax.

He said the result showed Gillard had "comprehensively
failed" to address the problems which saw her take power from
Rudd 12 months ago.

"Julia Gillard said almost a year ago that the
government had lost its way and that she was taking control.

But since then things have gone from bad to worse and it`s got
even more chaotic than it was before," Abbott said.

Newspoll chief Martin O`Shannessy said it was clear
the Prime Minister was in a "pretty tough spot", but both Paul
Keating and John Howard had shown that they could recover
despite suffering bad polls when rolling out "unpopular

"They quickly established they could also manage and I
guess that`s the question the government has to face," he told
ABC Radio.

He said Abbott`s popularity rating had remained
relatively stable since the August 2010 election, in a band
between 36 and 38 per cent.

But the Coalition leader had now started to close the
gap and if the trend continued "that`s going to be bad for
(Gillard) too".


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