Australian PM gains support in poll

10:04, February 22, 2011      

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Support for Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has hit its highest level since her elevation to the job, the latest Newspoll showed on Tuesday.

According to the latest Newspoll survey released by The Australian newspaper, primary vote support for the Australian Labor government rose from a near-record low of 32 percent two weeks ago to 36 percent, while the Coalition's support fell from 44 percent to 41 percent. The Greens' vote is steady on 13 percent

Labor gained two percentage points in the two-party preferred vote to 50 percent while support for the opposition fell two points.

The Prime Minister's personal standing, which suffered during the summer break when she was accused of being "wooden" in the face of natural disasters and of lacking a reform agenda, has leapt during the first two weeks of parliament.

Gillard has increased her lead as preferred prime minister by four percentage points to 53 percent to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's rating of 31 percent.

Her rating as preferred prime minister is the highest since Gillard became the nation's leader on June 24 last year.

Gillard's satisfaction rating is up five points to 50 percent while her dissatisfaction rating is down three percentage points to 39 percent.

Abbott's satisfaction rating has dropped four points to 38 percent while his dissatisfaction rating is up five points to 49 percent.

In the past two weeks, Gillard was overcome in parliament during condolences for flood victims, dumped former prime minister Kevin Rudd's key health reforms, chaired her first Council of Australian Governments meeting and attacked divisions within the Liberal Party.

The opposition has been beset by leaks since the release of the previous Newspoll.

Liberal frontbencher George Brandis admitted there had been some "untidiness" in the Coalition recently, after a series of shadow cabinet leaks.

However, he said the Newspoll showed "surprisingly low" support for a relatively recently re-elected Labor government.

Source: Xinhua

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