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Internal polling that shows Labor is trailing the coalition has been leaked in an attempt to undermine Julia Gillard and to "precipitate a Kevin Rudd leadership challenge", an opposition frontbencher says.
Source
AAP
UPDATED 10:48 AM - 26 Aug 2013

Internal polling that shows Labor is trailing the coalition has been leaked in an attempt to undermine Julia Gillard and to "precipitate a Kevin Rudd leadership challenge", an opposition frontbencher says.

The polling shows Labor's primary vote has fallen to 33 per cent, with the coalition on 46 per cent, the Seven Network reported on Friday night.

The figures showed Labor could pick up two seats in Queensland and one each in Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia, Seven said.

But it would lose all three in Tasmania and up to 10 in NSW, six or seven of them in western Sydney.

The results are likely to hose down any speculation of an early election.

Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne seized on the leak on Saturday.

"There is only one reason that the Labor figures have released that polling, and that is to undermine Julia Gillard and to precipitate a Kevin Rudd leadership challenge," he told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.

"It's no surprise that the leakers also said that Kevin Rudd was very popular in western Sydney, where Labor is slated to lose six or seven seats if an election was held today."

Mr Pyne said Labor was ending the year as it began - divided and dysfunctional.

He said the leak was aimed at "frightening the hell out of Labor marginal seat holders", to make sure Ms Gillard ended the year on a sour note.

Mr Pyne predicted Bill shorten would take over the ALP leadership if the party rolled Ms Gillard.

Evidence at an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry had damaged Labor's brand in western Sydney, Mr Pyne said.

ICAC is investigating how ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid may have benefited from state energy minister Ian Macdonald's 2008 decision to grant a coal exploration licence in the NSW upper Hunter.