Polls favour independents joining Labour

6:59 am on 5 September 2010

Two new opinion polls show the majority of Australian voters want three key independent MPs to back Labor to form a minority government.

Bob Katter, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor will spend the weekend considering which party to support to form government.

As the trio deliberate, a Newspoll survey - published by News Ltd on Saturday - show 47% want the independents to back Labor.

The poll of 1134 voters, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, shows 39% want the Coalition to be given the chance to form government.

Meanwhile, a JWS Research poll, published in Fairfax newspapers, found 37% want the country trio to support Labor.

The poll of 4192 voters also showed support was lower for the Coalition, with 31% of voters wanting the independents to side with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

But for 26% of voters, the preferred option was to go back to the polls.

The ABC reports the poll found that if there was another election, the Coalition would have a small lead in the two-party-preferred vote.

However, it also showed that another election would result in a hung parliament again.

Briefings held

The three key independents spent the week getting briefings from senior government bureaucrats, as well as Labor and Coalition frontbenchers.

The ABC reports they will not make their decision until they have finalised a document on parliamentary reforms, which could still take some days.

Parliament is still deadlocked after the election on 21 August, with Labor guaranteed 74 votes and the Coalition 73.

Labor last week has gained the support of Melbourne Greens MP Adam Bandt and Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie.