By Isobel Roe and produced for online by Melissa Hunter
Support for Labor is just one point off its all-time low today with the latest Newspoll results showing a primary vote of 27 per cent for the party.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s satisfaction rating remains at 28 per cent unchanged from last fortnight’s Newspoll.
However, Ms Gillard says she will lead the Federal Government to the next election due in 18 months.
Newspoll chief executive officer Martin O’Shannessy spoke to the ABC Radio’s AM program this morning.
“Fifty-two per cent is where the Coalition was in the Newspoll just prior to the 2001 election which of course, they won,” he says.
Mr O’Shannessy says he is not surprised that while the Coalition’s popularity is high, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s is not.
“There have been a number of unsuccessful Prime Minister’s in the past – Fraser, Howard and Keating – all which were very unpopular and went on to win elections,” he says.
The survey was taken before Ms Gillard’s axing of backbencher Craig Thomson from the Labor caucus on Sunday, whose time at the Health Services Union (HSU) remains under scrutiny amid allegations of financial mismanagement.
HSU members have received an interim report detailing the lack of financial controls on the money spent.
Mr Thomson says the report does not address his time with the HSU, but acting president Chris Brown says the results are concerning.
“This is the first independent report that’s really put the finger on it and said ‘yes there are problems within that branch, the governments arrangements are certainly no where up to scratch’,” Mr Brown says.
Report co-author Dennis Robertson says it is “the worst example of accounting he’d seen in 40 years”.
Mr Brown says they have not yet found someone to blame.
The Federal Government is scrambling to turn the message back to next Tuesday’s Budget, with Ms Gillard’s leadership under the microscope.