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Democrats welcome poll boost from GST

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Tuesday, June 01, 1999

Democrats welcome poll boost from GST The Australian Democrats are ‘very encouraged’ by an increase in voter support in the first opinion poll published since Friday’s announcement of the GST agreement.

Today’s Newspoll shows that the Democrats are the only major party to have gained votes over the weekend.

Senator Andrew Murray - who helped negotiate the GST agreement - described today’s poll as great news:

‘We are very encouraged by this jump in our support. It is good to see our voters endorsing our position in this poll,’ Senator Murray said.

‘Particularly as it coincides with the endorsement of all our State MPs as well as National and Divisional Presidents over the same weekend.'

‘I have also heard reports of an increase in membership inquiries to the Party yesterday, the first business day since the announcement.

‘I am cautiously optimistic that new memberships will steadily increase over the next few months as people examine more of the detail in the package and see that it is a strong, positive compromise.

‘All in all, I think it is a great time to be a Democrat. I am proud of our achievement and 1 am glad it is reflected in today’s poll.

In the Newspoll - published in today’s Australian - Democrat support in the House of Representatives jumped by two clear percentage points over the weekend, to equal the Democrats post-election record of 7%.

Interestingly, this came at the expense of the Coalition (down 3%) while Labor held steady - a disappointing result for both.

The Democrats traditionally perform an average of 40% better in the Senate than in the House of Representatives. So, if an election were held last weekend and these results were uniform across Australia, the Democrats would have comfortably held all 5 of their Senate seats which are up for election (4 are not),

Also, on these averaged figures, the Democrats would have won an additional seat in Tasmania - defeating Bob Brown after one term in the Senate, who will find it hard to survive without a double-dissolution election after 17 years as a professional politician.

Further comment: Senator Andrew Murray 0419 958 038 (Anytime alter 6am EST)