Australia’s ruling Labor Party is leading the opposition coalition in voter support, buoyed by a surge of women coming out in favor of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, citing a Herald/Nielsen poll. Labor leads the Coalition 54 percent to 46 percent on a two-party preferred basis, according to a survey of 1,400 voters taken from July 20 to 22. Some 56 percent of voters approve of Gillard’s performance, compared with 43 percent who are happy with opposition leader Tony Abbott.
Most Australian Labor lawmakers have swung their support behind deputy leader Julia Gillard ahead of her challenge to party leader and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd later today, the Sydney Morning Herald reported, without saying where it got the information. Key factions of the party persuaded a reluctant Gillard to stand, the newspaper reported.
Fallout from the second leadership contest for Australia’s ruling party in 20 months will leave the victor needing to overcome near-record low public support and resuscitate the government ahead of elections due next year.