Updated: 03/18/2013 09:13 | By Agence France-Presse

Flailing Australian PM vows to battle on

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard vowed 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.


Flailing Australian PM vows to battle on

Flailing Australian PM vows to battle on

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 percent of the 1,400 people contacted between March 14 and 16, with the opposition on 56 percent.

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

"If I haven't flinched yet, why would I flinch now?" said the country's first woman prime minister, describing opinion polls as "froth and bubble stuff".

"I'll just keep getting on with it and dealing with the issues that actually matter and all of this kind of side commentary can do whatever it does. It's not going to deter me or distract me."

Gillard has consistently been behind in the polls since calling the election in January, with speculation rife that she could be replaced by former leader Kevin Rudd.

Rudd, who led Labor to a landslide election victory in 2007 which ended more than a decade of conservative rule, remains popular and Monday's poll showed 62 percent preferred him to lead Labor compared to Gillard's 31 percent.

But Gillard dismissed any prospect of being "tapped on the shoulder" by senior ministers, saying: "It just won't happen. (It's) much speculated upon and just won't happen."

In the Herald interview, Gillard dwelled on how much harder it was working as a politician under the scrutiny of the 24/7 news cycle, but said she was tough enough to survive.

"It's harder than it used to be," she said, pointing to the insatiable demand for news spawning more "drama, more schlock, more horror" and less depth.

"You've got to be a pretty hard bastard to get it done."

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。