Labor duo sticks to policies

HERE TO HELP: Former prime minister Kevin Rudd.
HERE TO HELP: Former prime minister Kevin Rudd. Adam Hourigan

BLAIR MP Shayne Neumann isn't worried about polls that suggest he will lose his seat in the upcoming Federal Election if Kevin Rudd isn't returned as prime minister.

A Galaxy poll has suggested Mr Neumann will retain his seat with Julia Gillard or Mr Rudd as leader.

However, the seat would be held by just 0.1% with Ms Gillard as leader, but with Mr Rudd as leader Mr Neumann's margin in Blair would leap to 4.1%.

Mr Neumann said he was concentrating on his electorate and not polls.

"My job is to fight for jobs and economic development in Blair. I'm fighting to make sure we can support better community infrastructure," he said.

He said infrastructure such as the Ipswich Motorway and fighting jobs for the region were among his highest priorities and key concerns for Ipswich.

Mr Neumann wouldn't be drawn on a leadership debate and has previously stated he remains committed to supporting Ms Gillard.

According to polls released yesterday Ms Gillard has experienced a marked drop in support from men in recent weeks.

The most recent polls have seen Labor's primary vote hovering around 30% with Ms Gillard as prime minister.

However, the most recent Galaxy poll has suggested with Kevin Rudd as leader, the Labor Party vote could jump as high as 50%, enough to see Mr Neumann retain his seat.

If Mr Rudd was installed as leader and the election were to mirror the poll, it would see the current hung parliament retained.

However, Mr Rudd has repeatedly said he has no intentions of returning the leadership of the Labor Party.

The Coalition would need a swing greater than 4.1% for Mr Neumann to lose his seat.

Oxley MP Bernie Ripoll would retain his seat under both Galaxy poll results, in slightly more comfortable fashion than Mr Neumann with a 1.7% margin under Ms Gillard and a 5.7% margin with Mr Rudd as prime minister.

Mr Neumann told The Queensland Times yesterday he was concentrating on his own electorate and not on leadership speculation.

He said the Labor government had done well by Ipswich.

"The Liberals gave us nothing under John Howard and they'll give us nothing under Tony Abbott," Mr Neumann said.

"Tony Abbott has opposed everything we've delivered for Ipswich, from the Ipswich Motorway, the Blacksoil interchange to the money that will go into our local schools under the Gonski reforms."

Blair has been named as a seat "on the edge" in recent polls but listed as one of few Labor could hang on to in Queensland.

He said the LNP's candidate for Blair, Teresa Harding, wouldn't do anything for Ipswich.

"My opponent has promised nothing for the people of Ipswich and she will do her best to fulfil that if elected," he said.

"Her party opposes the Gonski reforms that will see $184m go to local schools like Bremer, Ipswich and Redbank Plains."

Ms Harding, however, said she didn't believe a change in Labor leader would affect her chances of being elected.

"I don't think it matters who is the leader. It's the same Labor brand, the same Labor waste," she said.

She said cost of living and asylum seekers remain her biggest concerns with three months until the Federal Election.

"Kevin Rudd was responsible for the dismantling of John Howard's Pacific Solution (to asylum seekers)," she said.

She said if elected she would work to see the Ipswich Motorway completed, and fight for jobs in Ipswich, goals she shared with her Labor opposition.



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