AWB managing director Andrew Lindberg became the oil for food scandal’s first victim yesterday – but a poll out today suggests the wheat row is also eating away at the Government’s support, grain by grain.

The ALP’s primary support is up four per cent in the latest Morgan Poll. The two party preferred vote splits 52.5/47.5 per cent in Labor’s favour.

The
poll was conducted face-to-face on the weekend of February 4/5 2006,
before Parliament resumed but as the Cole Inquiry into the AWB’s Iraq
deals entered its third week.

The research has also occurred
against a continuing background of Coalition instability – and it looks
as if bolshiness has bought a bonus to the Nationals. Their primary
vote has actually risen by one per cent, Morgan says.

And while they mightn’t
be talking about it down at Barnyard’s local servo, Australians are
concerned about the AWB allegations, according to a separate Morgan poll released today.

Only 13% of people interviewed this week by Roy Morgan Research
think the AWB
acted ethically in their negotiations to sell wheat to the Iraqi
government. 50% do not believe the Wheat Board’s behaviour was ethical,
while 34% can’t say.

And
Barnyard should be listening. Views on the Government’s involvement are more
fixed.

Morgan asked “Do you think the Federal Government acted ethically on
this issue, or not?” John
Howard, Mark Vaile, Alexander Downer, Warren Truss and team are considered
worse than the gun-totin’ guys of the AWB. 56% of punters say
they haven’t acted ethically, 16% say they have, while just 28% don’t know.

Peter Fray

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