ALP popularity dips on asylum uncertainty

Voters are still unsure about Labor’s plan for a regional asylum seeker processing centre, as the party’s popularity slips in the latest newspoll.


The party still maintains an election-winning lead over the Coalition in two new opinion polls under new Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Fairfax newspapers report the latest Nielsen poll shows the coalition holds a narrow 44-42 lead over Labor when respondents were asked which party was best for handling asylum seeker policy.

When they were then asked which of the Coalition, Labor and The Greens had the best policy, the coalition led on 34 per cent, down one point , Labor had 25 per cent support, six percentage point improvement, and The Greens scored 20 per cent.

According to News Ltd’s Galaxy poll, 63 per cent of voters approve of Ms Gillard’s regional processing centre plan, while 26 per cent disapprove and 11 per cent remain undecided.

But 59 per cent of voters don’t think the proposal is well thought out, compared with 25 per cent who say it is.

The latest Nielsen poll in Fairfax newspapers, and News Ltd’s Galaxy poll today both show Labor leading the coalition by 52 per cent to 48 on a two-party preferred basis.

Labor’s support was down three points according to the Nielsen poll, but remained steady in the Galaxy polls since the last surveys, which were taken late last month after Ms Gillard assumed the leadership from Kevin Rudd.

The Nielsen poll said Labor’s primary vote is down eight points to 39 per cent from its last poll, but well up on the 33 per cent the party held in June under Mr Rudd.

Labor trailed the Coalition 47 to 53 in the same poll on a two-party preferred basis.

The Coalition’s primary vote remains steady at 42 per cent, according to Nielsen, but Ms Gillard has a thumping 56-35 lead over Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, compared with her 55-35 lead in the last poll.