SENIOR Coalition figures still expect the government to claw its way back to be competitive at the federal election despite yet another poll pointing to a Labor massacre on September 14.
A poll of almost 4000 voters conducted by JWS Research in 47 Labor-held federal seats with a margin of 12% or less showed the party faced a two-party-preferred swing against it of 7.6% in those electorates.
Labor won the 2PP vote in those seats 55.9-44.1% in 2010, compared to 50.1-49.9% across all electorates.
If the swing occurred uniformly across the 47 seats on election day Labor would lose 32, leaving it with just 40 in the lower house.
JWS's state-by-state analysis shows Labor could lose 32 of the 47 seats, including seven in Queensland where it faces a 6.2% swing against it.
Kevin Rudd would be the sole survivor of such a purge, while Treasurer Wayne Swan (Lilley), Trade Minister Craig Emerson (Rankin) and Parliamentary Secretary for Health Shayne Neumann (Blair) would be among the casualties.
In New South Wales a 7.6% swing against the ALP means Labor would stand to lose 13 of its 16 seats, including that of now independent Craig Thomson who won the seat as an ALP candidate in 2010.
JWS also analysed the poll results by marginality groups, which shows Labor could lose as many as 35 seats.
The research came a day after the latest Newspoll showed Labor stood to lose as many as 30 seats.
But in the final joint party room meeting before the election, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott led the call for Coalition MPs to be prepared for a Labor fightback.
Mr Abbott urged his colleagues not to believe the current opinion polls, which he predicted would tighten.
It was a message echoed by Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop and Nationals Leader Warren Truss in their addresses.
Ms Bishop predicted Labor would "engage in trench warfare like we've never seen".
"With the election close we have to lift our tempo and not take anything for granted," Mr Abbott told the meeting.
Mr Abbott said the Coalition would face a stern test whether Julia Gillard or Mr Rudd led Labor to the election, describing both as "tough and ruthless".
Interestingly the JWS Research showed just a third of voters in the 47 seats thought Mr Rudd should challenge Ms Gillard for the leadership before the election.
More than half (54%) said he should not challenge, including 53% of Labor and 59% of Coalition voters.
Conversely, and in a clear sign of the complexity of the decision facing the Labor caucus, 35% of people polled said they would be more likely to vote Labor if Mr Rudd returned to his former job, including 26% of those who said they intended to vote for the Coalition.
"A return of Kevin Rudd to the Labor leadership would certainly have a positive influence on Labor's vote," the JWS report read.
"However this presents a conundrum for Labor as it needs to be balanced against the majority of voters who do not wish to see Rudd challenge."
Results of JWS Research's marginality group analysis in 47 ALP-held seats:
- 0-3%: Labor to lose all 10 seats on a 5.9% swing
- 3-6%: Labor to lose all 15 seats on a 7.5% swing
- 6-9%: Labor to lose 10 of the 12 seats on a swing of 8%
- 9-12%: No Labor losses on a swing of 8.6%
Who do you want to be Prime Minister after the September 14 Federal Election?
This poll ended on 26 June 2013.
A. Kevin Rudd
B. Malcolm Turnbull
C. Tony Abbott
D. Julia Gillard
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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