Federal Minister Anthony Albanese
Federal Minister Anthony Albanese

Government support grows: polls

LABOR frontbencher Anthony Albanese says the Opposition's anti-carbon-tax crusade has "hit a brick wall of reality".

Mr Albanese was one of a number of government frontbenchers to break their rule of not commenting on opinion polls on Monday.

They were buoyed by two polls which showed support for the Government was continuing to grow.

The latest Newspoll, published in The Australian, showed Labor's primary vote jumped three points to 36%, while primary support for the Opposition dropped to 41% - its lowest since March last year.

On a two-party-preferred basis the news was even better for Labor, with the Government drawing level with the Coalition on 50-50.

And after a week in which Kevin Rudd reminded everyone he was still around, the Newspoll provided a timely boost for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

On the question of who would make the better prime minister, support for Ms Gillard rose sharply from 39% to 46%, while Mr Abbott's rating dropped from 38% to 32%.

The Nielsen poll, published in Fairfax, still had Labor trailing the Coalition on 2PP terms 53-47%, but it revealed an upward trend in support for Labor.

Labor's primary vote grew from 26% in May to 34% in the latest Nielsen poll.

Over the same period, primary support for the Coalition has decreased from 49% to 45%.

Ms Gillard's satisfaction rating was up three points to 42% in the Nielsen poll, while her dissatisfaction rating fell four points to 53%.

Both polls showed a dramatic drop in the personal rating of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, with Mr Albanese putting this down to the Liberal leader's "destructive negativity".

Mr Albanese said there was little doubt a trend was emerging with each poll.

"Polls come and go. We don't get overexcited or depressed by a poll from day to day," Mr Albanese told Sky News.

"But there's no doubt that there's a trend out there that reflects Tony Abbott's scare campaign that on July 1 the sky was going to fall.

"I mean, this is a campaign that has hit a brick wall of reality. Reality has hit the rhetoric and reality's winning."

Mr Albanese said the turnaround in the polls could also be attributed to the positive economic news in recent months.

He pointed to low unemployment, better than expected GDP growth and relatively low interest rates.

The Coalition obviously believes there is still life in the carbon tax debate, using a number of questions during question time on Monday to hone in on the issue.

Manager of opposition business Christopher Pyne said the decline in Mr Abbott's popularity, and consequently the rise in Labor's fortunes, was the direct result of "politics of personal denigration".

Mr Pyne said Labor had spent months "demonising" Mr Abbott.

"They want to destroy his character," Mr Pyne told ABC News 24.

"The Tony Abbott that is being painted by the Labor Party is not the Tony Abbott that I know."

In describing Mr Abbott as "caring" and "compassionate", Mr Pyne said his boss had spent the weekend helping his local Rural Fire Service unit conduct a controlled burn, and partnered a blind runner to complete his first marathon.

Mr Pyne denied the Coalition was guilty of also engaging in personal attacks, saying the accusations levelled at Ms Gillard about her time at a Melbourne law firm were driven by the media and people outside the party.

Meanwhile, the weekly Essential poll, which is a two-week average, showed no change in the Coalition's 55-45% 2PP lead.


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