Source: The Mercury, 19 September, 2001, p.1
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.
Where to next?
Student Questions for this article
Teacher Discussion of this article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Collection and Sampling
Main Index - Numeracy in the News