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(08/26/07) -

Australians Prefer Rudd Over Howard

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Australia remain divided on their appreciation of John Howard’s tenure, according to a Newspoll published in The Australian. 43 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the way the prime minister is doing his job, while 45 per cent are dissatisfied.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Australia remain divided on their appreciation of John Howard’s tenure, according to a Newspoll published in The Australian. 43 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the way the prime minister is doing his job, while 45 per cent are dissatisfied.

Conversely, 60 per cent of respondents approve of Kevin Rudd’s performance as leader of the Australian Labor party (ALP). In the preferred prime minister category, 46 per cent of respondents select Rudd—up two points in two weeks—while 39 per cent prefer Howard.

In the October 2004 election, Howard was rewarded with a fourth term in office, as the Coalition of Liberals and Nationals secured 87 seats in the House of Representatives. The ALP—led by Mark Latham—elected 60 lawmakers. In December 2006, foreign affairs spokesman Rudd became the new leader of the ALP, defeating Kim Beazley in an internal caucus ballot.

The leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will meet in Sydney in September. On Aug. 23, former Australian prime minister Paul Keating—a Howard foe who was instrumental in creating the first APEC summit in 1993—called on leaders to focus on China-Japan-Korea security. Keating said that planned APEC topics championed by Howard, such as global warming and trade, should be secondary to security in north Asia, which he described as “the most dangerous part of the world.”

The next legislative election is tentatively scheduled for late 2007.

Polling Data

Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way John Howard is doing his job as prime minister?

Aug. 19

Aug. 5

Jul. 22

Satisfied

43%

46%

45%

Dissatisfied

45%

43%

44%

Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way Kevin Rudd is doing his job as leader of the opposition?

Aug. 19

Aug. 5

Jul. 22

Satisfied

60%

62%

62%

Dissatisfied

23%

19%

22%

Who do you think would make the better prime minister?

Aug. 19

Aug. 5

Jul. 22

Kevin Rudd (ALP)

46%

44%

43%

John Howard (Lib.)

39%

39%

40%

Source: Newspoll / The Australian
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,152 Australian voters, conducted from Aug. 17 to Aug. 19, 2007. Margin of error is 3 per cent.