Prime Minister John Howard would lose his own seat of Bennelong if a federal election was held today, a Crikey-Morgan Poll has found.

And it gets worse for the PM: a majority of voters in his electorate say Kevin Rudd would be a better prime minister – and 38% of the PM’s own constituents believe he should retire before the federal election.

The findings come from a telephone poll of 394 Bennelong electors conducted by Roy Morgan Research last Wednesday and Thursday nights.

Labor support in Bennelong is running at 55% on a two party preferred basis, compared with 45% for the Liberal Party,

Forty per cent of Bennelong electors would give their first preferences to the Prime Minister (down 9.9% since the last election). Forty one per cent would cast a primary vote for Labor (up 12.6% since 2004), 11% for the Greens and 5% for others. Only a low 3% of voters were undecided.

A higher proportion of Bennelong voters say Labor leader Kevin Rudd would be a better Prime Minister than Mr Howard – 49% to 47%.

More Bennelong electors disapprove of the way Mr Howard is handling his job as Prime Minister than approve – 47% to 44%. In contrast, 75% approve of the job Mr Rudd is doing as Opposition Leader, compared to just 11% who disapprove and 14% who can’t say.

Full results and tables are available here.

Peter Fray

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