Poll shows region favours Coalition

MORE than half of central west residents would give the Coalition their vote if an election was held today, according to Fairfax Regional Media’s (FRM) most recent Election 2013: Hot or Not? poll.

The poll, published across FRM websites on Monday and Tuesday, attracted 2776 respondents in the central west.

From the results, 52.8 per cent (1465) said they would give the Coalition their primary vote, with 26.8 per cent (744) supporting Labor, 7.3 per cent (204) supporting the Greens and 13.1 per cent (363) supporting either independents or another party.

Asked about Julia Gillard’s performance as Prime Minister, 49 per cent of respondents said it was very poor, while 44.4 per cent rated Tony Abbott’s performance as Opposition leader as either average or good. A further 31.2 per cent said his performance was very poor.

Members of the Coalition were the central west’s choice for prime minister: Tony Abbott (33.1 per cent) and Malcolm Turnbull (25.3 per cent) topped the results.

Julia Gillard attracted 20.4 per cent, Kevin Rudd 10.9 per cent, Christine Milne 2.3 per cent and Warren Truss 0.3 per cent.

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott were the politicians we most loved to hate, while Barnaby Joyce was believed to be the politician who had the most policy debate to offer about regional Australia.

Education and training is believed to be the portfolio that should receive the most government expenditure, while culture, history and sport were ranked at the bottom of the list.

Central west residents also believed transport, infrastructure and Medicare should receive a larger portion of government expenditure.

With the Coalition announcing its broadband plan recently, respondents were also asked which plan was preferred.

Labor’s plan attracted 45.1 per cent of the votes and the Coalition’s plan 39.8 per cent of the votes. The final 15.1 per cent said they did not know about either plan.

More than 60 per cent of voters were confident they understood both plans, though some said they needed more information from each of the parties.

The results in this poll came from residents in Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo, Wellington, Narromine, Mudgee, Lithgow, Cowra, Parkes and Forbes.

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