Swan unperturbed by opinion polls

He reckons the only numbers he’s dealing with are at the G20 meeting in Toronto.

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The latest Newspoll shows Julia Gillard is comfortably the preferred prime minister and Labor back in an election-winning position.

Labor ahead of Libs

On a two-party preferred basis, Labor is leading on 53 per cent while the coalition is on 47 per cent – exactly as it was at the 2007 election, the survey published in the Australian newspaper showed on Monday.

On the question of who would make the better prime minister, 53 per cent of voters opted for Ms Gillard – after ousting Kevin Rudd last week – compared to 29 per cent who preferred Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

But Mr Swan was nonplussed by the result saying, “They’re the last thing on my mind.”

Mr Swan is in Toronto at the G20 Leaders meeting, where he said he’s talking about the fact that Australia is coming back to surplus in 2012/13 when other advanced economies are aiming to half their deficit.

Polls ‘were factor in spill’

“They are the only numbers I’m dealing with,” Mr Swan told Fairfax Radio Network.

He said he didn’t make his decision to back Ms Gillard on the basis of opinion polls.

“I made my decision about those based on the mood in the community … I’m not governed about what happens in opinion polls.

“I am very concerned about who should be governing this country and what the alternative policy frameworks are between the Labor party and the Liberal and National party.”

Gillard ‘more trusted’

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Reader’s Digest puts Ms Gillard ahead of Mr Abbott in the trust stakes.

Perth-based burns specialist Fiona Wood once again topped the Australian Reader’s Digest annual trust survey, ahead of cancer researcher Professor Ian Frazer.

The survey, a representation of 750 Australians asked to rate well-known people on a scale of one-to-ten, was released on Monday, at the start of Ms Gillard’s first full week in office.

It had Ms Gillard as the 78th most trusted Australian, slipping from her position last year at 71.

Abbott lagging behind

Kevin Rudd, who Ms Gillard replaced after challenging his leadership late last week was down 17 spots at 81.

“This puts them both clear of Tony Abbott, even though the Opposition Leader has advanced one spot on last year,” Readers Digest said.

Mr Abbott was in 89th in the trust poll behind coalition colleague Joe Hockey in 83rd.

Greens leader Bob Brown came was the most popular politician, on the list at 74.

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