BRISBANE, Australia — The decision to dump a sitting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in favor of her predecessor Kevin Rudd appears to have paid off for Australia's ruling Labor Party.
The first poll taken since Rudd was reinstated as prime minister indicate he is considered the better choice for prime minister by 51 percent of voters compared with 34 percent who favor Tony Abbott, the leader of the country's conservative Opposition.
The Opposition had been on track to win by a landslide at the September 14 election called by Gillard, who never quite hit it off with an Australian electorate mistrustful of the way she came to power.
Gillard was instrumental in a 2010 coup that saw her take over the leadership of the Labor party from Rudd, then the elected prime minister. With the party leadership came the prime ministership.
The Murdoch press, which commissioned the Galaxy poll, wrote that thanks largely to to Rudd, the Labor Party had a fighting chance at the election, with a two-party preferred result of 49 percent to the Coalition's 51 percent.
Meanwhile, in a poll published by Australia's Fairfax Media found Rudd far more popular with younger folk, despite being a self-confessed "daggy [uncool] dad".
Sixty percent of people aged 18 to 34 preferred Rudd to Abbott as preferred prime minister.
However, the survey found that Abbott had the same level of support — or a 60-40 lead over Rudd — among Australians aged 65 and over.
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