The battle for West Sydney

Greg Ansley reports at NZ Herald:

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is spending much of this week in western Sydney, trying to win back support in the vast suburbs of two million people that could destroy her Government in September. …

Chifley is one of Gillard’s key battlegrounds: it recorded an 11.6 per cent swing against Labor in 2010, and is now among a series of former blue-ribbon Labor seats under real threat of falling to the Opposition on September 14.

If polling is accurate, an exodus of voters across western Sydney could alone be sufficient to bring down the Government.

Losing West Sydney is like losing West Auckland for NZ Labour. They have nine seats at risk in Sydney, and they really can’t afford to lose any seats. They have 71 seats in Parliament and the Coalition has 72. They only remain in power through the Independents anyway.

What voters are making abundantly clear is that, at this stage at least, anything is better than Gillard: Abbott may also be heartily disliked, but a rush from Labor in the opinion polls points to a landslide for the Coalition..

The latest Morgan poll, reflecting recent findings by Newspoll and Nielsen, said the Opposition held a crushing 9 per cent lead in the two-party preferred vote that determines Australian elections.

New allegations about the depth of corruption involving former Labor ministers, rolling out daily from hearings at the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, continue to stain the party brand.

The level of corruption in Australian unions and Australian Labor is staggering. We have nothing like it (so far) in NZ. The Coalition have promised a judicial inquiry into union corruption if it wins the election.

News.com.au has a poll of 11 electorates in West Sydney:

If given the choice of four prime ministers, 39.2 per cent of voters would choose Mr Abbott, followed by Mr Rudd at 26 per cent, Malcolm Turnbull at 22.1 per cent, and Ms Gillard at just 13.2 per cent.

It is rare for an Opposition Leader to be ahead of an incumbent Prime Minister as Preferred PM. To be ahead in a Labour stronghold is even rarer.

If you add the two Liberals up they have 61% support and the two Labor contenders have 39%.

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