New Herald/Nielsen poll predicts PM Gillard would lose poll if held now

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Canberra (Australia), Nov.22 (ANI): The latest Herald/Nielsen poll finds Australia's ruling Labor Party slightly worse off now than at election time on August 21 this year, and adds that if a poll were held now it would most likely lose.

Almost all Australian dailies, including the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age say that the poll finds no change from the last poll a month ago, with the Coalition leading the government on a two-party-preferred basis by 51 per cent to 49 per cent.

Labor's primary vote is relatively unchanged from a month ago at 35 per cent, compared with 43 per cent for the Coalition and a still healthy 13 per cent for the Greens.

Internally, Labor is beset by talk about how to wrest support back from the Greens and the Left is growing restless, citing gay marriage as the signature issue.

The poll shows that 57 per cent of voters support the legalisation of same-sex marriage and just over a third - 37 per cent - oppose it.

Even along party lines, support is relatively sound.

The findings of the poll of 1400 voters, taken from Thursday night to Saturday evening, are expected to intensify pressure on political leaders.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has deferred further debate on the subject until the party's national conference in December next year.

The poll shows Ms Gillard's approval rating has held steady at 54 per cent and her disapproval rate also steady at 39 per cent.

The approval rating of the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, rose 2 percentage points to 47 per cent and his disapproval fell 2 points to 48 per cent.

Gillard's lead as preferred prime minister is relatively unchanged at 54 per cent compared with 40 per cent for Abbott.

The final week of Parliament is likely to be dominated by bank reforms and broadband. (ANI)

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