First the latest Nielsen poll results from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Latest opinion polls show a further drop in support for Labor two weeks out from an election, with one indicating the Prime Minister may struggle to hold his own seat.
The Nielsen poll, published on Fairfax websites, shows Labor’s primary vote has fallen two points to 35 per cent.
After preferences, that gives the Coalition a six-point lead – 53 per cent to 47 per cent.
If the results were replicated evenly across the country on election day, Labor would lose 10 seats.
The poll of 2,500 respondents has a margin of error of 2.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, a Newspoll published in The Australian newspaper, shows Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is behind the Coalition candidate, Bill Glasson, in his Brisbane seat of Griffith.
The poll of 500 voters shows Mr Rudd trails his opponent 52 per cent to 48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis. The margin of error is 4.4 per cent.
Another Newspoll of almost 1,400 voters in the Coalition’s eight most marginal seats in Queensland shows the Coalition’s primary vote has surged eight points to 54 per cent, while the ALP’s primary vote has slipped to 32 per cent.
It shows the Coalition has a commanding two-party preferred lead of 60 per cent to Labor’s 40 per cent.
Mr Rudd’s personal support has also fallen to 39 per cent, with 49 per cent of voters across the marginal seats preferring Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
The Coalition is is composed of the Liberal party (which is actually the conservative party) and the National party (which is also conservative).
I found an interview with Tony Abbott posted on India Today, when I searched for some keywords related to his policies. I searched for a detailed policy-oriented interview in the mainstream media, but couldn’t find much. Strangely enough, the Australian media seemed to be more concerned with gaffes and fear-mongering about Abbott’s socially conservative views. It’s as if the mainstream media is aiming for some sort of Jon Stewart coverage of the election, instead of telling us about each candidate’s plans and proposals.
Here’s some of the interview:
1. What are your plans to grow the economy?
The Liberal Party understands that successful businesses generate prosperity for the entire community by creating jobs, investing in growth and earning important export income.
We will lower costs for Australian businesses by removing Labor’s carbon tax. We will take the shackles off Australian businesses by cutting $1 billion in red tape every year. And we will boost productivity by encouraging more people into the workforce with better child care and a paid parental leave scheme and we will build 21st century infrastructure.
The economy will be strengthened by a new lowered company tax rate of 28.5% from 1 July 2015. This builds on the Coalition’s track record of delivering real tax reform focussed on cutting and simplifying taxation in Australia. Our fully funded tax cut will restore confidence in the management of Australia’s economy and boost job creation and investment.
The Coalition will also build a more diverse, world-class economy – a 5 pillar economy – to unleash Australia’s real economic potential. In particular, we will build on our strengths in manufacturing innovation, agriculture exports, advanced services, world class education and research as well as boosting mining exports.
2. The cost of living has gone up in the recent years, how will the Liberals help families cope with the rising costs?
We will start reducing cost of living pressures for families by immediately scrapping Labor’s carbon tax, taking the pressure off rapidly rising electricity and gas prices.
The average family will be $500 better off next year alone and seniors will still keep their fortnightly pension and benefit increases- all without a carbon tax. We will not proceed with Labor’s FBT changes on cars. And we will restore the Private Health Insurance Rebate as soon as we responsibly can.
3. We have a lot of small businesses in our community, how will Liberals help them?
The Liberal Party understands the small businesses are the real job creators in the economy, employing almost half of the workforce in Australia. We will reduce costs for every business by abolishing the carbon tax, directly reducing electricity, gas and transport costs. By removing $1 billion of red tape each year, small businesses will be able to put more time, effort and resources in their ‘real’ work, rather than complying with complex and unnecessary government requirements.
The Coalition’s paid parental leave scheme will mean small businesses would no longer be disadvantaged in the ‘war for talent’, attracting and keeping quality staff.
We will also ease expense pressures on small businesses by delaying the increase of compulsory superannuation contributions to 12 per cent by a further two years.
8. Do you have a view about same-sex marriage?
There are very strong feelings on both sides of this particular issue right now. I take a conservative position on it myself. I think that we should not lightly change something which has been this way since time immemorial. But I don’t believe that I can necessarily impose my view on society for all time, all I can do is candidly and honestly tell people what my view is. I support the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. Now I know that others dispute this, because I have lots of arguments inside my own family on this subject now. But my position, it’s always been clear, it’s always been consistent, and as long as I’m in the Parliament if the issue comes up that’s the way I will vote. Whether it remains for all time the Liberal Party, and the Coalition’s position, well that will be a matter for our party, for our Coalition if it were to come up in a future Parliament.
11. Everyone is talking about the Asian Century, what does this mean for the Liberals? What are your plans?
An important element of our economic plan for Australia is to strengthen our trading relationships with Asia, welcome investment from the region, boost our exports and deepen Australia’s knowledge of and engagement with countries in Asia. We recognise the rapid emergence of both China and India and the opportunities this will afford Australia in the future.
Specifically, we will take real action to increase economic activity by fast-tracking Free Trade Agreements with China and India amongst others.
We will strengthen our diplomatic relationship and trade ties with India and boost mining exports by exporting uranium to that country.
We will help Australians gain study and work experience, strengthen the ties with the region, learn to adapt behaviour to Asian contexts and work more effectively with Asian governments.
The Coalition’s new Colombo Plan would encourage and support Australian undergraduates to study for part of their degrees in a university in the Asia-Pacific region, so promoting Australia’s deeper engagement with the region to the benefit of both.
It’s nice to see what policies a conservative would propose. We haven’t had much of that around here for a long time, have we?
The Australian election will be held on September 7th. I would appreciate it if my Australian readers can keep me informed about stories related to the election campaign.