Kevin Rudd hits new low with voters: Newspoll
Dennis Shanahan, Political editor
March 16, 2010
KEVIN Rudd's personal approval is at its worst since he became opposition leader in December 2006, and the Coalition is in its best position on primary votes since John Howard was prime minister and Kim Beazley was Labor leader.
Despite the unveiling of the Rudd government's $50 billion plan to fix public hospitals, and the Prime Minister's frenetic media appearances and meetings with premiers over his health plan in the past two weeks, satisfaction with Mr Rudd has hit a new low of 48 per cent and dissatisfaction is at a new high of 41 per cent.
This is his worst approval rating since he replaced Mr Beazley as Labor leader.
Mr Rudd declared a little over two weeks ago that Labor had been getting "whacked" in the polls for some time, and he thought they needed to "lift their game" or they would continue be whacked in the polls.
Although there was little real change in the primary vote in the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian last weekend, a one-point fall for the ALP from 40 to 39 per cent, within the three-point margin of error, means the Coalition's unchanged primary vote of 41 per cent to Labor's 39 per cent is its best position since November 2006.
Based on the distribution of preferences at the last election and a rise in the Greens' support, the Rudd government still has an election-winning lead on a two-party-preferred basis of 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
Mr Rudd maintained his clear 25-percentage-point lead over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, by 55 to 30 per cent..
In the past week, the government has mounted a critical campaign against the Opposition Leader for being "opposed to everything" and obstructing the government in the Senate, as well as advocating a "big new tax" on business to fund a six-month paid parental leave scheme for workers earning up to $150,000 a year.
At the same time, Mr Rudd has travelled to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to meet the Labor premiers of Queensland, NSW and Victoria to discuss his proposal for the federal government to take over 60 per cent of the funding of public hospitals by taking back 30 per cent of the states' GST revenue.
But Mr Rudd has met resistance from the premiers and was roundly criticised for ignoring NSW Premier Kristina Keneally as she welcomed him to Sydney for the health talks.
In his campaign to lift his falling personal stocks, Mr Rudd has admitted breaking political promises, personal shortcomings and the bungling of the $2.45 billion roof insulation scheme.
According to the latest Newspoll survey, voter satisfaction with Mr Rudd fell three points, from 51 to 48 per cent, and dissatisfaction rose from 40 to 41 per cent. These are the lowest satisfaction rating and highest dissatisfaction rating for Mr Rudd since he became Prime Minister, and represent a net satisfaction rating of just seven points.
Mr Rudd has had the highest satisfaction rating of any prime minister during the 25-year Newspoll survey series of 71 per cent, reached just after the parliamentary apology to the Stolen Generations, but since the end of September last year his satisfaction rating has fallen 19 points and dissatisfaction with him has risen by 16 points.
While Mr Abbott has been accused of blundering politically and putting his colleagues offside over his unilateral announcement of a paid parental leave scheme, his personal support is virtually unchanged, as satisfaction with the Liberal leader went from 48 to 47 per cent and dissatisfaction was the same on 38 per cent.
Financial Services Minister Chris Bowen yesterday told parliament the former leader of the opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, had told the ABC he thought Mr Abbott's dramatic change of heart over the emissions trading scheme was "entirely political in Tony's case".
"I do accept that the Opposition Leader is a conviction politician," Mr Bowen said in question time. "But his only conviction is winning the next election: doing or saying whatever it takes to win the next election. He parades as opposing out of principle, but his only principle is opposition."
On the question of who would make the better prime minister, both Mr Rudd's 55 per cent and Mr Abbott's 30 per cent have been unchanged for the past month.
The Coalition's primary vote support has also remained unchanged at 41 per cent, the first time the Coalition's primary vote has remained at or above 40 per cent for a two-month stretch since late 2006.
While steady in statistical terms, Labor's primary vote shift from 40 to 39 per cent, to equal its lowest primary vote since the election, means the Coalition is now in the best relative position to the ALP since November 2006 when Mr Howard was prime minister and Mr Beazley was removed by Mr Rudd as the Labor leader of the opposition.
Since the middle of October last year, Labor's primary vote has fallen 9 percentage points, from 48 per cent to 39 per cent last weekend. Since the end of November last year, the Coalition's primary vote has risen 6 percentage points from 35 to 41 per cent.
But despite the Coalition's strongest primary vote showing for more than three years, Labor still holds an election-winning lead on a two-party preferred basis because of the flow to Labor of Greens' preferences.
Comrade Rudd aka. Lu Kewen.,was the trial Run for Hussein Obama same slogans and bumper stickers in place of policy and ability, Australians are after two years realizing that they, (like the USA) have been conned by the Beijing / UN and the MSM’s preferred candidate.
Comrade Rudd and his Beijing backed Union financed Labor Party have to be driven back into the the bowels of China.