SYDNEY, June 26, (AFP) -The shadowy deposing of Australian leader Kevin Rudd by his female deputy appears to be paying off, with the first polls suggesting Julia Gillard would win the election with a commanding lead.
Gillard became Australia's first female prime minister Thursday after disposing of Rudd in a bloodless party-room coup prompted by his massive slump in public opinion polls ahead of elections expected this year.
A Nielsen poll published Saturday showed a 14-point jump in the ruling Labor Party's primary vote to 47 percent under Gillard, compared with 42 percent for the conservative opposition.
With preference votes from the left-wing Greens party, the Labor party would storm to power with 55 percent of votes to the opposition's 45 percent, Nielsen said.
Gillard's rating as preferred prime minister was a commanding 55 percent to rival Tony Abbott's 34 percent, a six-percentage-point bump on Rudd's final polling. Voters preferred Gillard by 44 percent to Rudd's 36 percent.