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'It's the economy, stupid'. Or is it?

By Tim Grau - posted Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Kevin Rudd and Labor's continued surge in opinion polls has, for the first time in years, many seriously contemplating a change of government later this year and its possible implications.

The second surge - Australia's ongoing economic boom - has many bewildered why there would be a change of government in these prosperous times and just how long can the good times roll on.

This month's national accounts revealed annual economic growth at 3.8 per cent, with buoyant household spending; rising business investment; an ongoing resources boom and most industries and states showing growth in the March quarter.


The results were a welcome fillip for the Howard Government determined to reinforce its economic management credentials in the lead-up to this year's Federal election. The positive results will enable the government to hammer away at Labor over its economic credentials.

Earlier this month the latest Galaxy poll found 42 per cent were worried interest rates would rise under Labor; 40 per cent thought the Rudd team was too inexperienced; and 37 per cent were concerned a Rudd government would run up debt.

Ironically, the danger for the government is the risk the economy may over-heat and force the Reserve Bank to consider interest rate increases - even before the Federal election.

The other surge - Rudd's stellar poll results - continues in most published opinion polls, with all of them indicating that if a Federal election were held now, Labor would be swept into office in a landslide.

The last month's Newspoll had Labor at a record high of 60 per cent of the two-party preferred vote to the Coalition's 40 per cent and this week’s poll continues to have Labor well ahead of the government.

Better Prime Minister - Howard vs Rudd


On the primary vote, Rudd has taken Labor from 37 per cent under Beazley in November 2006 to 52 per cent in May.

Voting Intention - Primary Vote

The Galaxy poll, published this month, has shown some softening of the Labor vote, but still in an election-winning position.

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About the Author

Tim Grau is a one-time adviser to former Queensland Labor premier Wayne Goss and ex-federal attorney-general Michael Lavarch. He is the founding director of the public affairs firm, Springboard Australia.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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