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Sunday, February 17, 2013
Galaxy poll shows female voters choose Tony Abbott
Tony Abbott's family Christmas card, featuring Margie, Tony, Frances, Louise and Bridget.
FEMALE voters have rejected Julia Gillard's claim Tony Abbott is a misogynist and are preparing to elect him prime minister despite some concerns about his "negativity" and views on abortion.
In the nation's first female-only Galaxy poll, The Sunday Telegraphasked women to tell us the real reasons for the gender gap on voting intentions.
The exclusive results reveal women stand ready to end the reign of Australia's first female Prime Minister on September 14, with just one in three women - 36 per cent - preparing to vote Labor.
But the Galaxy results also found high levels of concern among women about Mr Abbott, with 44 per cent concerned "he says no to everything" and 39 per cent concerned about his views on abortion.
Mr Abbott, who says his position on abortion is that it should be "safe, legal and rare", has previously described abortion as an "easy way out" and a national tragedy.
A majority of women also said Mr Abbott's push to campaign as a family man, surrounded by his wife Margie and three daughters, would have no influence on their vote - and nor would the fact Ms Gillard has no children.
However, 13 per cent said they were more likely to vote for Mr Abbott because he had the life experience of marriage and raising kids, and 13 per cent were less likely to vote for Ms Gillard because she did not.
"Female voters are supporting the Liberal Party despite concerns about Tony Abbott," Galaxy's David Briggs said. "The majority of female voters - 62 per cent - do have some concerns about Tony Abbott.
"Among females aged 18-34 years, 46 per cent are concerned about the Opposition Leader's views on abortion."
The survey found 44 per cent of women firmly reject the PM's claim that Mr Abbott is a misogynist. Just 25 per cent agreed Mr Abbott was a misogynist, a figure that included 44 per cent of female Labor voters and 9 per cent of female Coalition voters.
Women were divided over whether Ms Gillard was a good role model, with 44 per cent saying yes and 43 per cent calling her a "disappointment". A majority of women aged over 50 regard the Prime Minister as a "disappointing" role model but support for Ms Gillard is stronger among younger women, with 46 per cent backing her as "good".
Mr Abbott has ramped up appearances with his wife Margie and his daughters, stressing his experience with balancing a family budget.
But the majority of female voters - 81 per cent - say his family-man status and the PM's unmarried, childless status had no bearing on their vote.
The PM has endured political attacks over her marital status for years, with Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan once describing her as "deliberately barren" and suggesting Kevin Rudd at least knew his way around "the nappy bucket".
This Galaxy poll was based on a national sample of 800 female voters.
The primary vote of 36 per cent for the PM is three points below female support for Gillard in a Galaxy poll conducted at the time of the August 2010 federal election.
Primary support for the Coalition is 46 per cent - three points higher than females polled at the time of the last election. Assuming a flow of preferences similar to the last election, this would result in a two party preferred figure of 47 per cent for Labor and 53 per cent for the Coalition.