Abbott widens lead in polls


Tony Abbott has pulled away from Julia Gillard as Australia's preferred prime minister, according to the latest Newspoll in The Australian.

Mr Abbott has improved three points in the two weeks since the last poll to achieve a 43 per cent result amongst voters, while Ms Gillard has weakened four points to 35 per cent.

The poll shows voters are sticking with the coalition as the September elections nears, with the opposition's primary vote improving three points to 49 per cent - a three month high - compared to Labor's 30 per cent, down one point.

On a two party preferred basis, the opposition holds a commanding 16 point lead - 58 per cent (up two points) to Labor's 42 per cent (down two points).

The government has been torpedoed by the debacle over attempts to slip through public funding changes last week that would have handed $60 million to the political parties.

The Australian says the government has also been on the back foot in the past two weeks over fears of asbestos contamination in the NBN rollout and the continued arrival of boats carrying asylum seekers.

Based on preference flows at the last election, Labor would lose 35 seats and be swept away with a uniform eight per cent swing against it across Australia.

Fairfax Media has seen internal Labor polling that shows Treasurer Wayne Swan would be amongst those to lose their seats.

The Queensland polling is believed to show his primary vote has collapsed to just 28 per cent, compared to 41 per cent at the last election.

A "worst case" scenario indicates former prime minister Kevin Rudd could be Labor's last man standing in Queensland.

A Herald Sun poll backs up Newspoll, saying Labor is looking over an abyss with even safe seats such as Isaac in Victoria, held by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus with a 10.4 per cent margin, likely to fall.

The paper's JWS Research poll, focusing on Victoria, shows Mr Dreyfus is facing a huge 15.4 per cent swing in what has been a Labor seat for 17 years.

The poll will ring alarm bells for surrounding seats of Bruce and Holt, as well as McEwen and Bendigo, which party figures say are also at risk.

But significant personal support for Speaker Anna Burke suggests she will also buck the trend and retain her Box Hill-based inner eastern suburbs seat of Chisholm.