Despite the loss of Labor seats in the recent Western Australia state election which resulted in calls for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to step down as leader of the party, Labor is apparently not giving up power.
REUTERS It appears that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has scored considerable ‘political gains’ over Opposition Leader Tony Abbott short of a week after she labelled the latter as sexist and misogynist in a fiery parliamentary speech that went viral worldwide.
Latest Newspoll survey made for The Australian showed that 42 per cent of the survey respondents preferred Ms Gillard as prime minister versus 38 per cent for Coalition leader Tony Abbott. Ms Gillard gained 6 per cent while Mr Abbott lost 1 per cent.
However, the bad news for Ms Gillard is that a larger number of survey respondents of 47 per cent would vote for Labor if her predecessor, Kevin Rudd would reassume party leadership as opposed to 39 per cent who would still prefer Mr Abbott to be Australia's next prime minister.
Besides Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard, the third preferred Labor leader with 16 per cent of the votes is Employment Minister Bill Shorten.
Martin O'Shannessy, chief executive of Newspoll, attributed the lift in Labor support from Sydney voters after Ms Gillard's visit to the city's job expo.
Over the weekend, former Northern Territory Health Minister Kon Varskalis called on a party leadership change before the September election because of the loss of Labor candidates in WA. A similar call was made by former WA Labor candidate Alannah MacTiernan.
"I agree with Alannah, Julia is a very decent person, however, the media and Tony Abbott very cleverly portrayed her as a person not to be trusted. They bring the issues of leadership. You can be a leader but you can't be a leader if people are not prepared to follow you," Mr Varskalis was quoted by News.com.au.
"At the end of the day, the Labor voters have said we don't accept her as our leader. If we do not take note of this, there is going to be an absolute massacre in the federal election," Ms MacTiernan added.
Labor lost 7 seats in the WA election while Liberal Colin Barnett returned as state premier for a second term.
It appears that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has scored considerable ‘political gains’ over Opposition Leader Tony Abbott short of a week after she labelled the latter as sexist and misogynist in a fiery parliamentary speech that went viral worldwide.