18 Jul 2010

Voter support slips for Australian Labor party

10:13 pm on 18 July 2010

Voter support for the Australian Labor party has slipped since its leader Julia Gillard called the federal election on Saturday, putting the parties level on two-party-preferred support.

The Galaxy poll for the Nine Network has Labor and the Coalition level, each with two-party-preferred support of 50%.

Labor has slipped 2% since Saturday and the coalition has gained 2%.

The poll shows primary support for Labor at 38%, down one percentage point since just prior to the election announcement.

The Coalition's primary vote has increased to 44% - up from 42%.

Support for the Greens is running at 12%.

The Prime Minister is still ahead of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister by a margin of 55% to 32%.

Campaign trail

Australia's two main political leaders spent their first full day on the campaign trail on Sunday.

The ABC reports that Ms Gillard kicked off her campaign in the key state of Queensland on Sunday after just three weeks as Prime Minister.

Ms Gillard said she would provide 15 regional cities with $A15 million each to fast-track housing developments.

She said she's aware that people in Australian cities are struggling to cope with the rapid growth in population.

Ms Gillard said she understands it's getting more difficult to book a doctor's appointment or to find a seat on the bus to work.

To encourage people to move to regional centres Ms Gillard has promised a total of $200 million so councils in some areas can quickly open new housing developments.

Ms Gillard has reiterated that she is against a big Australia and prefers a sustainable population.

She said the election will be a referendum about infrastructure and services for families.

Meanwhile opposition leader Tony Abbot spent time with a Sydney family discussing cost of living pressures.

Mr Abbot did not announce any policies, but rather promised $A47 billion in government spending cuts, and he committed to not making voters pay a carbon emission tax.