Election round up

As ALP leader Kevin Rudd continues to resist the pressure to release his tax policy, the latest Herald/Nielsen poll shows Labor’s two-party preferred vote has eased 2 points to 54%, and the Coalition’s two party preferred vote has improved 2 points to 42%.

Another poll, from Galaxy, measured the improvement in the Howard Government’s popularity as being even greater, with Labor’s lead over the coalition on a two-party preferred basis halving from 12 to six points.

Rudd has hinted today that the release of his tax policy is imminent and some observers are speculating it could be released as early as today. It’s likely it will be made public before Sunday’s televised leadership debate.

Rudd has decided to face up to the PM on Sunday night for a televised debate, despite Howard refusing his demand for three debates during the campaign. A panel of journalists will grill the candidates in the 90 minute debate to be televised on Sky News and moderated by Sky News political editor David Speers.

Yesterday the Democrats launched their policies on paid maternity leave. Senator Stott Despoja said government-funded maternity leave could co-exist with the baby bonus to give working parents more chance to spend time with their kids. The Democrats have proposed 14-weeks maternity leave paid at the minimum wage, costing $300 million a year.

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