Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s attack on the Australian Greens is backed by a narrow majority of respondents in a poll, but not by most Labor voters.


Essential Media asked 1925 people if they regarded the Greens as an extreme political party that did not share the views of average Australians.

The assertion was backed by 52 per cent of survey respondents.

Almost two-thirds of people aged over 55 agreed with the sentiment, as did six in 10 men surveyed.

Women and younger people, however, were less inclined to support the criticism.

Only 44 per cent of women supported Ms Gillard’s statement about the minor party, while just 41 per cent of adults under the age of 34 agreed.

Coalition voters were much more likely to agree with the prime minister, with three-quarters of them sharing her view.

But just 44 per cent of Labor voters supported the attack.

Ms Gillard had a skirmish with her minority government partners after she described the Greens as a “party of protest” that did not share the values of “everyday Australians”.

The prime minister has since sorted out her differences with Greens leader Bob Brown over a cup of coffee.

Still, the attack has done little to boost her personal standing among voters, with Ms Gillard’s approval rating falling from 41 per cent to 37 per cent between March and early April.

She is actually less popular than Kevin Rudd was in the month before he was deposed as prime minister in June 2010.

Then again, so is Opposition Leader Tony Abbott whose approval ratings fell from 38 per cent to 36 per cent in the April poll.