Federal Labor could lose 18 seats: poll
AAPUpdated January 29, 2013, 9:43 am
An opinion poll of marginal seats across Australia suggests federal Labor could lose 18 seats.
The result would cut Labor’s numbers from 54 in the lower house, handing power to the coalition with 91 seats, The Australian Financial Review reports.
The poll of 54 marginal seats conducted by JWS Research found the best-case scenario for Labor would be a loss of seven seats in four of the biggest states, but it would still lose government.
Labor would pick up six seats in Queensland as result of a backlash against the cuts to services under the Newman state government but would lose 10 in NSW, according to the polling.
The seats of Kingsford Smith and Lindsay, held by Labor frontbenchers Peter Garrett and David Bradbury would fall.
JWS researcher John Scales told ABC radio they polled 3350 people across 54 marginal seats.
“Overall there is a swing against Labor of over five per cent,” he said.
He said allegations against former NSW Labor powerbrokers being examined at the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) were damaging Labor’s prospects of retaining marginal federal seats.
Asked if Labor could turn around the figures, Mr Scales pointed to the Howard government’s victory in 2001.
“Never rule anything out in politics,” Mr Scales said.
“I think the electorate is a bit more ready to change government these days than it has in the past.”
Labor parliamentary secretary Mike Kelly, who holds the marginal NSW seat of Eden-Monaro, took a swipe at the opposition for sitting on its policies.
He said the real contest would be when voters got a chance to compare policies.
“It’s always going to be a tough battle in marginal seats,” Mr Kelly said.
“This is an issue that will pan out through the course of the year.”
Liberal frontbencher George Brandis said the next election would be hard fought.