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FED: Rudd's personal popularity at near record levels

24 Mar 2009 2:07

SYDNEY, March 24 AAP - Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's personal popularity has returned to near record levels, while opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has lost support, according to the latest Newspoll.

Mr Rudd's rating grew by four percentage points to 65 per cent in the past two weeks on the question of who would make the better prime minister, just one point short of his highest rating last December.

Mr Turnbull's rating fell by one point to 20 per cent, the Newspoll revealed.

The result comes after the finalisation of the government's $42 billion economic stimulus package and passing of new industrial laws.

The poll, published in The Australian on Tuesday, showed primary support for the the ALP was now 45 per cent compared with 44 per cent two weeks ago.

The coalition's primary support was 37 per cent compared to 36 per cent a fortnight ago.

However, the two-party preferred result remained unchanged for both the coalition and Labor. The ALP is still a long way ahead on 56 per cent while the coalition sits on 44 per cent.

The weekend poll also found nearly two thirds of Australian voters now opposed increasing troop numbers in Afghanistan.

As Mr Rudd prepares to meet with US President Barack Obama in Washington, the poll revealed just 28 per cent of Australians were in favour of reinforcing the nation's 1100-strong military commitment.