Australian PM Rudd in danger of losing his own seat

Aug. 24, 2013 at 2:57 PM
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GRIFFITHS, Australia, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Two recent polls indicate Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd could become the nation's third leader to lose his own seat in Parliament during an election.

The polls both found the Labor Party leader trailing his opponent, Bill Glasson of the Liberal National Party by four percentage points, 52 percent to 48 percent, The Sydney Morning Herald said Saturday.

Rudd's district is in Griffiths, near Brisbane.

In 2007, the election that brought Rudd's Labor Party to power, then-Prime Minister John Howard lost his seat. Prior to that, it hadn't happened since Stanley Bruce in 1929.

Rudd's position mirrors that of his Labor Party nationally, which trails in polls by roughly the same margin.

Liberal leaders expressed reservations about the polls and predicted an onslaught of negative campaigning from Rudd in an effort to save his political life.

"I think this is a very, very close race," said opposition leader Tony Abbott.

Political observers said one of the reasons Rudd may be facing defeat is he didn't pay enough attention to his own district.

"I'd have to concede it's a possibility ... Yes, Kevin Rudd is in danger of losing his seat," Griffith University political scientist Paul Williams said. "Perhaps he hasn't spent enough time in the electorate -- we already know that Bill Glasson's having a go at him for not attending a local forum because he's got appointments elsewhere, and that's going to be a bad look."

The election will be held in two weeks.

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