7 December 2003

Latham already swaying voters

Self-declared larrikin leader Mark Latham has already pushed Labor towards a winning position, the first opinion poll since his election showed.

Taken in the battler heartland that deserted Labor in 1996, an exclusive Sun-Herald survey of five crucial western Sydney electorates showed a major shift towards the new leader, despite his turbulent first week in Parliament.

In a stunning endorsement of last week's bold caucus move to elect the 42-year-old maverick, more than two-thirds of respondents applauded the choice.

The poll results came as Mr Latham continued to pound the Coalition on the key issue of Medicare.

I guess this is what happens when the coalition launches attacks on someone's marital record and security trustworthiness. A lot of Australians have been through divorce and a lot dislike the government's supine approach tot he alliance.

Evidently Western Sydney is ceasing to be a coalition stronghold. That is not good news for the government.

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