Kevin Rudd moves into poll position to win power for struggling Labor
The Daily Telegraph
February 23, 201312:00AM
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Rudd to fight for top job?
One of the Prime Minister’s key backers has dismissed continued leadership speculation as hot air.
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Popular with all ages … Kevin Rudd / Pic: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph
KEVIN Rudd would catapult Labor into an election-winning position if he was to be reinstalled as leader, according to a new Galaxy poll.
A comeback by the former prime minister would deliver a 14 per cent boost to Labor’s primary vote in Queensland, putting it in line to seize two-thirds of the state’s seats.
The poll of 800 Queenslanders, taken on the evenings of February 20 and 21, found that federal Labor’s support, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the helm, was stuck on 33 per cent – close to the primary vote Labor received at the last election.
This would see Tony Abbott lead the Coalition to victory by 55 per cent to 45 per cent on a two-party preferred basis in Queensland if preferences flowed as they did in 2010.
But Labor’s primary vote would soar to 47 per cent in Queensland if Mr Rudd returned to the leadership and faced off against Mr Abbott, the poll found.
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Under the Rudd scenario, Labor’s Queensland preferred vote would be 53 per cent to 47 per cent for the Coalition, giving the ALP a potentially winning edge. This would see Labor achieve a swing of eight points since the last federal election and win back all of the seats it lost in Queensland in 2010, except for Leichhardt.
A switch back to Mr Rudd would see the Liberal National Party’s support drop by five points. Almost half the supporters of the Greens and Katter’s Australian Party would also switch their vote to Labor.
The results suggest Mr Rudd could deliver Labor a much-needed boost in Queensland at a time when its support has collapsed in NSW and other states.
“The reinstatement of Kevin Rudd as leader would be the real game-changer,” Galaxy chief executive David Briggs said.
Leadership speculation has again dogged Ms Gillard as Labor MPs begin to despair about a slump in support in national opinion polls.
Mr Rudd has ruled out challenging her for the leadership but he has recently lifted his appearances in the media in a move some see as provocative. He regularly uses Twitter to promote himself to his more than 1.1 million Twitter followers.
Some of Mr Rudd’s supporters want him to be leader again if Ms Gillard cannot turn around Labor’s poll results.
Several pro-Rudd Labor MPs said the results would give colleagues reason to think about a leadership change.”Kevin offers what the current circumstances don’t, which is hope,” one Labor MP said. “That should give people reason to think.”
A Gillard supporter conceded a switch to Mr Rudd would boost Labor’s support, but doubted the “sugar hit” would last until the election.
“I don’t think anyone would doubt Labor would do better in Queensland with Kevin,” they said.
“If he came back they would immediately recall why they didn’t like him.”