Source: The Mercury, 19 September, 2001, p.1


Howard support through the roof

THE Howard Government
would be returned to power
with the largest vote in
Australian history if an
election were held now, a new
opinion poll has found.
	The Bulletin-Morgan poll,
to be published in The
Bulletin today, found primary
support for the Coalition
cent to 53 per cent. Labor's
vote collapsed 7 per cent to
32 per cent.
	On a two-party preferred
basis, the Government
opened up a 20-point lead, 60
per cent to 40 per cent, over
Labor.
	The largest two-party
preferred vote enjoyed by a
government was in the 1966
election when Liberal prime
minister Harold Holt claimed
56.9 per cent of the vote.
	The poll gives the
Coalition its strongest
support since January 1976,
in the wake of the dismissal
of the Labor government.
	It was taken on the
weekend after the terrorist
attacks in the US and the
collapse of Ansett.
	The poll found 67 per cent
of those surveyed approved of
the way Mr Howard was
handling the prime minister's
position. It was the highest
approval rating since records
began in 1966.
	In contrast, just 35 per cent
of voters approved of
Opposition Leader Kim
Beazley's handling of his
job.
	When the Government took
its tough stance against
asylum seekers, support for it
climbed to 39 per cent.
	But when the Federal Court
ruled the Government
had acted illegally against
asylum seekers aboard the
MS Tampa, Government
support dropped to 36.5 per
cent.
	Labor's support rose to
40.5 per cent, giving it a 10-
point lead on a two-party
preferred basis.
	All the increase in the
Coalition's support has come
since the terrorist attacks.


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