SYDNEY, May 19 (UPI) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently fighting extradition from Britain to Sweden, would be a strong Australian Senate candidate, a poll indicates.
The survey was done by UMR, internal polling firm for the Australian Labor Party, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Among supporters of the Green Party, 39 percent said they would vote for Assange, as did 27 percent of Labor supporters and 23 percent who back the Liberal/National coalition.
Overall, one quarter of those polled said they would be inclined to vote for Assange. Another 14 percent were unsure and 61 percent said they would probably not vote for him.
Almost two-thirds, 66 percent, of Green Party supporters, said they have a favorable view of Assange.
In March, WikiLeaks hinted at a Senate run with a posting suggesting Assange would be eligible to do so even if he is still under house arrest in Britain or has been extradited to Sweden, where he is under investigation on a sexual assault charge.
Assange could face charges in the United States for the release of diplomatic memos on WikiLeaks. John Utting of UMR said U.S. charges would almost certainly increase his support in Australia.
"There is clearly a significant level of support for Julian Assange which crosses party lines and is more concentrated amongst Green voters,'' Utting said.
He said an Assange win would probably be at the Greens' expense and would be most likely in the Sydney area. But he cautioned an actual campaign might simply increase Assange's negatives.
UMR surveyed 1,000 voters in late April. No margin of error was given.
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