( Rudd can wait till November to call an election. By which time he may be ahead in the polling. He is in no hurry. We don’t wish to see another hung parliament )
Labor and Coalition neck and neck in latest Nielsen poll, Rudd leads as preferred PM
Updated 4 minutes ago
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is continuing to brush off questions about the timing of the election, despite Labor experiencing a significant bounce in the opinion polls.
Today’s Fairfax/Nielsen poll says the two major parties each have 50 per cent of the two-party preferred vote – a seven-point gain for Labor on last month’s result.
The ALP’s primary vote has jumped 10 points to 39 per cent, while Mr Rudd leads Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister 55 per cent to 41.
The Coalition’s primary vote was down three points to 44 per cent, while the Greens’ primary vote fell two points to 9 per cent.
The poll’s margin of error is 2.6 percentage points.
Last week a Newspoll, published in The Australian newspaper, also found Labor and the Coalition locked in a dead heat after preferences.
Speaking in Papua New Guinea this morning, Mr Rudd would not say whether he would call the election soon to capitalise on the results.
“[There are] a lot of challenges ahead, we’re working on them one by one,” he said.
This morning Mr Abbott told Channel 9 he always expected the polls would tighten.
“My instinct is that what they’re really doing is showing their relief at the departure of an unpopular prime minister,” he said.
Carbon tax dumped, one year early
The Nielsen poll was published after the Government confirmed it would scrap the carbon tax and move to an emissions trading scheme next year – one year earlier than originally planned.
The fixed carbon price of $24.15 a tonne will be removed in favour of a floating price, thought to be between $6 and $10 a tonne.
Families will still receive compensation packages for the carbon tax, but the Government admits cuts will have to be made in other areas to pay for the change.
Mr Rudd says decisions about where the savings will come from are still under discussion.
“It necessarily has to be budget-neutral. The key thing though with this change, it would mean that Australian families have less cost-of-living pressures and it would also mean strong action still on climate change,” he said.
Rudd in PNG for talks with O’Neill before heading to Townsville
Meanwhile, Mr Rudd is in PNG today and will meet with prime minister Peter O’Neill to discuss offshore processing.
Immigration Minister Tony Burke will attend the talks to discuss the progress on building the Manus Island detention centre.
The talks will also include trade, regional security and aid.
Mr Rudd is due to fly back to Australia today and will visit the north Queensland city of Townsville this afternoon.
First posted 4 hours 0 minutes ago
Search ABC News
Election Just In
- 4h 2m Rudd coy on election date after new poll boost
- 22h 53m Katter, Palmer at odds over party backing claims
- 23h 26m Liberals endorse Price for Durack
- 1d Greens propose $43bn in new taxes to pay for promises
- 1d Coalition’s new ad campaign targets Rudd’s record
- 1d Local branches to decide Labor candidates for key seats
- 2d Two candidates withdraw from contest for Lalor
- 2d Labor Caucus will meet in Balmain over leadership selection process
- 2d Gonski talks: Kevin Rudd meets Campbell Newman