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Aus oppn party maintains lead ahead of May election

IANS | May 02, 2022 02:41 PM

CANBERRA: Australia's opposition Labor Party remains in a leading position in the federal election to be held this month at the campaign's halfway point, new opinion polls revealed on Monday.

According to the latest Newspoll, which was published by The Australian newspaper on Monday, Labor leads the governing Coalition 53-47 on a two-party preferred basis, reports Xinhua news agency.

It marks the 18th consecutive poll where Labor leads the government and the fourth in a row with a 6-point margin.

If that swing is applied on a uniform basis across the country, it could result in Labor winning 79 out of 151 seats in the lower house of Parliament, the House of Representatives, and forming government for the first time since 2013.

Thirty-eight per cent of Newspoll respondents said they intend to vote Labor as their first preference at the election on May 21, up from 37 per cent in late April, while support for the Coalition remained steady at 36 per cent.

By comparison, the Coalition received 41.4 per cent of first preference votes in the 2019 election, in which it won 77 House of Representatives seats, and Labor 33.3 per cent.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese also narrowed the gap on Prime Minister Scott Morrison as voters' preferred leader, with 39 per cent choosing him compared to 45 per cent for the incumbent premier.

In February 2021 Morrison led the measure by 61-26.

A separate poll published by Nine Entertainment newspapers showed Labor is leading 54-46 on a two-party preferred basis.

Morrison started the second half of the campaign on Monday by announcing a re-elected Coalition would spend A$70 million ($49 million) over four years to ease cost of living pressures for seniors.

Under the scheme, an additional 50, 000 older Australians would be given access to the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC), entitling them to cheaper health care and medication.

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