Gillard and Labor plunge in latest polls

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's parliamentary year has started disastrously with the government losing significant ground in the latest Newspoll.

Labor's primary vote plunged six points to 32% since the last poll taken two weeks ago.

Support for the Coalition up was up four points to an election-winning 48%.

On a two-party-preferred basis the Coalition now leads Labor 56-44%, a swing of more than 6% since 2010.

As research released last week by JWS Research revealed, a uniform swing of 6.5% against the government on September would lead to them losing as many as 25 seats.

It comes just two days after senior ministers Nicola Roxon and Chris Evans stood down from the Cabinet and less than a week since Ms Gillard took the unprecedented step of revealing the election date more than seven months early.

The Greens' primary vote was solid at 9%, although that's almost 3% below the party's 2010 election result.

"Others", comprising independents and minor parties, was on 11% - a rise of more than 4% since the last federal election.

On the question of who would make the better prime minister Ms Gillard's lead over Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has also tightened dramatically.

Ms Gillard's rating was down four points to 41%, while Mr Abbott jumped from 33% a fortnight ago to be 39% in the latest poll.

Meanwhile, Labor's new ministers and parliamentary secretaries will be sworn-in by the Governor-General Quentin Bryce during a ceremony at Government House this morning.


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