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Australian leadership shambles condemned by voters: poll

Published on Mar 24, 2013 1:33 PM

SYDNEY (AFP) - An aborted Labor party leadership coup has badly tainted the standing of the Australian prime minister's office with most voters also seeing Julia Gillard as a "lame duck" leader, a poll showed on Sunday, six months ahead of a general election.

The first opinion poll since Ms Gillard called a shock leadership ballot on Thursday to counter rising tensions within the party also said the majority of those questioned would prefer Mr Kevin Rudd in charge.

After weeks of rampant speculation Rudd opted out of challenging Ms Gillard for the party leadership just minutes before the vote was held, realising he did not have the political numbers to unseat her.

Ms Gillard was re-elected unopposed but significant damage has been done to the highest office in the country, the poll of 1,005 voters for the Sydney Sunday Telegraph showed.

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