Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean.
Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean. Inga Williams

Crean confident government can turn things around

SENIOR Gillard government minister Simon Crean says Labor faces an election wipeout unless voter sentiment changes.

But the Regional Australia Minister said he was confident the government would turn things around between now and the September 14 election.

Mr Crean was one of a number of senior ALP figures who were trying to remain upbeat on Tuesday after another poll showed the magnitude of the task confronting the government.

Primary support for both sides was relatively unchanged, with Labor on 31% and the Coalition on 47%.

"You can't win with a 31% primary vote," Mr Crean said.

"We won't win unless we're bold, unless we're courageous. But that's not where we expect to be in September."

Using preference flows from the last election the Coalition holds a commanding 55-45% two-party-preferred lead over Labor in the latest Newspoll.

Mr Crean likened Labor's position to that of a football team facing a long, gruelling season.

"We're not at the grand final yet, there's a whole lot of game that's got to be played between now and then," he said.

"I think we've got to aspire to win all over the ground, so to speak, and that's why so much effort is being put into so many different agendas."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's standing also took a hit in the Newspoll, with her voter satisfaction rating dropping six points to 30%, while those dissatisfied jumping by the same amount to 58%.

Ms Gillard also trails Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on the question of who would make the better prime minister 40-36%.

The poll came as Ms Gillard announced plans to spend next week campaigning in western Sydney in a bid to shore up support a number of key marginal seats.

The Greens' decision to walk away from its alliance with Labor last week appeared to give it a kick along, with the party's primary vote up two points to 11%.



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