Sunday, May 31, 2015Sunday, May 31, 2015

Flailing Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard vows to battle on

Published on Mar 18, 2013 9:29 AM
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaks at the National Press Club in Canberra Jan 30, 2013. Gillard stunned voters on Wednesday by setting a national election for Sept 14, eight months away, in her first major political speech for 2013. Elections must be held in Australia by the end of the year, but Gillard said she wanted to end political uncertainty by setting the date now. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard vowed on Monday not to buckle after a fresh poll showed her badly lagging in an election year, insisting she was "a hard bastard" who could take the pressure.

Centre-left Labor leader Gillard has called an election for September 14 but would be routed by conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott if the vote was held today, the poll showed.

On a two-party basis, excluding minor parties, a Fairfax Media/Nielsen poll showed Labor was favoured by 44 per cent of the 1,400 people contacted between March 14 and 16, with the opposition on 56 per cent.

Abbott is also the preferred prime minister on 49 per cent compared to 43 per cent for Gillard, but in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald she vowed to battle on.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!