The National, Wednesday July 24th, 2013
BRISBANE: Kevin Rudd’s tough new stance on asylum seekers has lifted Labor’s ratings on the issue to its highest level since Julia Gillard’s proposal for regional processing in East Timor during the 2010 election.
But the same poll has revealed two-party preferred vote shows support for the prime minister and Labor has stalled.
Rudd said last Friday that asylum seekers arriving by boat would not be settled in Australia.
Detainees who are found to be refugees could be permanently settled in PNG, while those found not to be refugees could be detained in PNG, returned home if possible or be sent to a third country.
The news has lifted Labor’s standings on the issue, with the latest Newspoll, in The Australian newspaper on Tuesday, showing support for Labor rose six percentage points to 26%, while the Coalition’s dropped 14 points to 33%, compared with February results.
The results were greatest in Sydney’s western suburbs where there was a three percentage point rise among ALP voters who believe Labor is best able to handle the issue of asylum seekers. There was a rise in Coalition supporters who now favour the ALP, up from 4% to 7%.