Rudd's Poll Reversal; a[euro][approximately]Too Many Backflips Costing Him Votes'

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman

KEVIN Rudd's policy backflips are the cause of his plummet in the polls, political academics said yesterday.

New polling by Essential Research has found the Prime Minister's popularity has plunged from a high of 71% a year ago to only 46% today. More than 42% of voters now disapprove of him.

The polls' slide has dragged Labor south with him, the party's primary vote down 9% to 40% in just six months.

However, Labor would still easily win re-election with a two-party preferred vote of 53% to the Coalition's 47%.

Liberal leader Tony Abbott has only been able to garner 3% of the PM's lost popularity and the Greens remain stagnant on 10%.

University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer in politics Bronwyn Stevens said the poll came amid strong criticism of Mr Rudd's Emissions Trading Scheme backflip and the continuing fallout from the insulation debacle, both of which had had an impact.

However, Ms Stevens said while some voters who strongly support the ETS had agiven Mr Rudd a whacka they were unlikely to turn to Mr Abbott on this issue given that the Opposition has twice blocked ETS legislation in the Senate.

"The Coalition's policy on climate change has also been subject to strong criticism from the environmental lobby,'' she said. "That the Greens have not picked up much indicates that voters may be wary of the cost of their more radical proposals and higher targeted cuts in carbon emissions. …