Trust John Howard to try the “Who do you trust?” line again. He wheeled it out twice in his speech the weekend before last at the Liberal Party federal council meeting.

And now the answer’s in.

It’s Kevin Rudd, Roy Morgan Research has found .

People no longer see the Prime Minister as “Honest John”. That’s why his government is lagging in the polls.

Morgan’s polling gives Labor a 10-point two-party preferred lead.

Far more people rank Kevin Rudd above the Prime Minister in honesty and trustworthiness – 44% of voters, compared to just 29% for John Howard.

In September 2004, Howard was seen as more honest and trustworthy than then ALP Leader Mark Latham, 36 to 33%.


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Fifty percent of Australian voters think John Howard would be better at managing Australia’s economy, 35% think Kevin Rudd would be better, 6% said “equal or neither” and 9% were undecided.

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Similarly, a higher proportion of voters said the PM would be better at minimising tax than Rudd, 42 to 34%.


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However, Rudd came out on top on the issues of: managing a fair workplace (59 to 29%); managing a productive workplace (49 to 39%) and looking after families’ needs (50 to 36%).


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Significantly, the leaders tied on 41% on the vital question of whom voters trusted more to keep Australia safe and secure. In contrast, back in September 2004, the PM led Latham 56 to 28% on this issue.


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  Pollster Gary Morgan says:

This latest Morgan Poll shows there are clear differences in the images of John Howard and Kevin Rudd. Howard leads on the issue of ‘managing the economy’ and ‘minimising the tax you pay’, while Rudd leads on ‘looking after families needs’, ‘a fairer workplace’, ‘a productive workplace’, and being ‘more honest and trustworthy’.

Morgan has a warning for the government: “There has been a significant shift since 2004 on the issue of honesty and trustworthiness.”

Polling of federal voting intention taken at the same time put Labor ahead in the two-party preferred 55 to 45%, with Labor recording 46% of the primary vote, the Government 40%, the Greens 7.5% and other parties/Independents 6.5%.

These are the main findings of a Roy Morgan telephone survey conducted on the nights of June 5-7, 2007, with 556 Australian electors.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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