| 05.12,11. 01:18 AM |
Julia Gillard rallies as Tony Abbott's rating falls
December 05, 2011
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard and her Labor Government have hit their highest popularity mark in six months.
The latest Newspoll survey has revealed a slide in voter support for Tony Abbott, which is now at its lowest level since he became Opposition Leader two years ago.
The Coalition's primary vote dropped to 44 per cent, a four percentage point slump in the final week of Parliament for the year.
But Labor's primary vote increased from 30 to 31 per cent.
Taking into account preference flows in last year's election, the Coalition would still win government - leading 54 to 46 per cent.
The Greens' eight-week downward trend in primary votes took a turn and rose in the past two weeks from 10 to 13 per cent.
Mr Abbott's dissatisfaction rating rose two percentage points to 57 per cent.
The Australian, 6 Sep 2011.End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
Ms Gillard's personal satisfaction rose to 36 per cent from 34 but dissatisfaction rose from 55 to 56 per cent.
The latest survey is based on 1153 voter interviews.
Meanwhile, Kevin Rudd has branded the Labor Party's conference a failure, saying it squibbed the chance to kill the power of factional heavies who ended his leadership and installed Ms Gillard.
In an extraordinary intervention, the former Prime Minister blasted his party for ignoring calls to give a greater say to ordinary members - including proposals that could have helped him in his campaign to return to the top job.
"The challenge for this conference was to take some giant leaps forward on fundamental reform," Mr Rudd told the Herald Sun.
"Instead, while some claim we have moved forward on party reform, the truth is we have barely moved at all."
Despite Mr Rudd's stinging attack, he did not take part in a three-hour debate on the party's rules, which was held on Saturday.
However, the outburst is likely to reignite leadership tensions within Labor.
Yesterday, Mr Rudd reminded the party of his achievements as PM the day after Ms Gillard was accused of airbrushing him from history.
The Foreign Affairs Minister spoke during the closing stages of the conference and explained how proud he was that under his leadership the Government avoided a recession during the global financial crisis.
He also made a point of mentioning Julia Gillard's role in that effort.
"We acted as a Labor team in Government - a team made up of Julia; of Wayne (Swan) who is with us here today; of Lindsay Tanner, a former great Australian finance minister; of Chris Bowen, then as Assistant Treasurer," he said.
Ms Gillard opened the conference with a speech naming every elected Labor prime minister since World War II except Mr Rudd.
Senior minister Simon Crean was forced to defend Ms Gillard's speech that failed to name Mr Rudd.
Mr Crean said people questioning the PM's words were being "precious petals".