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Wednesday, 7 September 1983
Page: 526

Mr HODGMAN(7.30) —The latest Morgan gallup poll published in the Bulletin of 13 September proves beyond doubt that the people of Australia are now starting seriously to question the credibility and the veracity of the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) and this socialist Government. A careful analysis of the statistics in the poll shows that the lengthy litany of broken and dishonoured promises of the Hawke Government is starting to take its toll, and that many tens of thousands of Australians are now realising-to their sorrow-that they were conned and hoodwinked by the super-slick theatrical performance of the Prime Minister at the Sydney Opera House. Mr Deputy Speaker, the fact is that it is now established beyond doubt that this socialist Government simply cannot be believed.

The popularity rating of the Hawke Government peaked in the week of 9 April to 16 April at a very impressive 56 per cent. It has now slumped dramatically by nine percentage points to a discredited 47 per cent. By contrast the approval rating of the Opposition has moved strongly and steadily upward from 37 per cent in the week 9 April to 16 April to 45 per cent in the latest poll-an impressive upsurge in popularity and approval of eight percentage points. In simple terms, if a Federal election had been held last week the fate of the Hawke Government would have been determined on minor party preferences. Just imagine, after barely six months in office the Prime Minister is at serious risk of being turfed out of the Lodge, and replaced by the present Leader of the Opposition and, without doubt, the next Prime Minister of Australia, the honourable member for Kooyong, Andrew Peacock.

As the Bulletin also pointed out, a telling aspect of the poll was that the number who felt that Mr Hawke would be the better Prime Minister fell by 4 per cent compared with the previous survey. Even more dramatic is the fact that the Prime Minister's approval rating has plummeted by a massive nine percentage points from the approval rating he enjoyed in the week of 9 April to 16 April. In addition, 18 per cent of the Australian electorate is now 'undecided' in their opinion of the present Prime Minister, and that figure is most significant when one recognises that a national swing of a mere 2.3 per cent is all that is required to defeat the present socialist Government at the next Federal election .

Mr Deputy Speaker, chickens do come home to roost. Truth will out, and this present socialist Government which is now being seen to be a government of no credibility at all will find to its regret that promises broken and commitments dishonoured will cost it office at the next Federal election. The people of Australia are already starting to realise that this Government, under its egomaniac Prime Minister, broke more promises in seven weeks than Malcolm Fraser broke in seven years.

In Tasmania, my home State, the latest gallup poll figures are dynamite for the Hawke Government. Federal voting intentions are: Australian Labor Party, 39 per cent; Liberal Party, 57 per cent. Somebody should tell the Prime Minister that anybody can kiss babies and butter up the gullible or smear the honourable member for Franklin (Mr Goodluck). What really matters is integrity, honesty and respect. On the basis of his performance alone-that is, the performance of the Prime Minister alone-the ALP is history in Tasmania. Rightfully, Tasmania will show the way and lead the nation by putting Andrew Peacock in the Lodge before Christmas 1984.