Galaxy-News Ltd Poll: Aussies Prefer a Coalition PM but Picks Malcolm Turnbull over Tony Abbott

By @ibtimesau on

The latest Galaxy poll, commissioned by The Daily Telegraph, delivered on Monday figures that were far worrisome for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as they indicated he would replace the current occupant of The Lodge after the 2013 national election.

The Coalition is ahead by 12 percentage points in the primary votes with 47 per cent of support given by Aussie voters while the Labor-led government garnered only 35 per cent. On two-party preferred, five full points separated the party led by Mr Abbott, which secured 53 per cent as against to the 47 per cent given to Labor, bannered by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Galaxy, however, noted too on its report that while the Liberal-National alliance is poised to trounce the ruling party big time, it has to happen anytime soon. Between now and the national election next year, anything can definitely happen and with the Coalition advance in recent months stalling and even receding, fears among the opposition of a veritable Labor recovery could gain more traction, analysts said.

The News Ltd-sponsored Galaxy survey, according to political observers, largely confirmed the general picture presented by Newspoll last week - it won't be an easy win anymore for the Coalition and the worst could even come if matters get out of hand.

Mr Abbott, in fact, stares now on the voters' pulse that says his tenure as the leader of the group aiming to replace the present government was far from being secured. Galaxy said he only attracted 29 per cent of support from the total of 1003 respondents quizzed by researchers.

It appears that the ghost of the past is catching up with the Liberal leader as Australian leaders still prefer Malcolm Turnbull as the man to become as the next Coalition frontliner and subsequently the nation's PM if the Labor surged proved a fad and falters near the stretch.

Analysts noted that Mr Turnbull's numbers are so huge, at 60 per cent, that even if the man who eased him out in 2007 as opposition leader managed to swing in his favour the uncommitted electorates, at 11 per cent, he'll remain the Liberal favourite.

But Mr Abbott is unfazed, and pundits said he has reason to be. The Coalition party room, they said, is bereft of any serious contenders that could prompt a leadership spill, save of course for the popular Mr Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull's charisma, however, remains not working among his Liberal colleagues, which means he lacks the number to even mull kicking out the opposition party headliner.

And the same dilemma afflicts former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who Galaxy said still commands awe among the public, actually clocking 49 per cent of support as against to Ms Gillard's 34 per cent.

Capitalising on that number though is not an easy reality for Mr Rudd as the Labor caucus remains in favour of Ms Gillard, who in recent months had manifested her ability to woo public support and in some respect, grudging sympathy too.

The former Labor leader tasted that bitter pill in February 2012 as the prime minister pushed back his efforts to reclaim the former's prestigious post, sending him to the backbench in the process. Mr Rudd is not about to swallow the same pill anytime soon, analysts said.

For his part, Mr Abbott insisted the latest polls will not distract him from performing and delivering on his current job description, "which is to hold the government to account."

"Every day I am out there with a positive alternative . . . doing the essential job of opposition," Mr Abbott was reported by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) as saying.

As for the immense popularity of his shadow communications minister, Mr Turnbull that is, the Liberal leader, of course, has a logical explanation.

"I think Malcolm (Turnbull) is doing a really good job," Mr Abbott offered.

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