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What's a Molotov or two between mates?

ANDREW Wilkie's decision to throw his support behind Julia Gillard to form government was a crucial moment in the 17 days after August 21st.

Majority of voters want the independents to back Labor

100904 newspoll

Date/Time: 2010:09:03 21:18:43 Source: The Australian

MORE voters want the three rural independents to back a Labor minority government than the Coalition

As the three incumbent independents -- Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter -- head to a decision next Monday or Tuesday, a Newspoll survey taken at the beginning of the week suggests more voters want them to back Labor.

According to the Newspoll survey of 1134 voters on Monday and Tuesday, 47 per cent want the ALP to get the independents' support and 39 per cent want the Coalition to form government.

There is almost unanimous partisan support among voters for the party they supported being given the support of the independents and the minor parties.

So far the ALP's seat count in the House of Representatives has been bolstered by formal agreements with the Greens' new MP, Adam Bandt, and Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie, to a total of 74 seats.

The Coalition has 73 seats of its own but the three independents have the power to decide which side forms a minority government, with 76 seats out of a total 150 House of Representatives MPs.

On Thursday, Mr Wilkie said his decision to support Labor had had been influenced by the fact he represented a previously safe Labor seat.

A Newspoll survey taken two weeks ago in the previously Nationals-held seats of the three remaining independents showed that in the seats of Kennedy, in far north Queensland, and New England and Lyne, in northeast NSW, 54 per cent of voters wanted the independents to support the Coalition, while 34 per cent wanted them to back Labor.

The strongest support for favouring a Coalition government is in Mr Katter's seat of Kennedy, at 56 per cent. The lowest support for the Coalition is in Mr Oakeshott's seat of Lyne, at 52 per cent to 38 per cent for Labor.

The Newspoll survey of 1396 voters, more than 400 in each seat, taken exclusively for The Weekend Australian on Wednesday and Thursday last week, also shows Mr Windsor's seat of New England favouring a Coalition government over a Labor government by 55 per cent to 35 per cent.

An automated poll of voters, published in The Sydney Morning Herald today, shows 37 per cent want a Labor government, 31 per cent want a Coalition government and 26 per cent would prefer to go back to the polls for a new election.

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