Labor leads in Australian polls
With Australia's election campaign down to the wire and his own party dropping in opinion polls, Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has shifted into a last-ditch attack on the Labor opposition.
Mr. Fraser is warning voters of the ''dangers'' of a Labor government, reports Monitor contributor David Solomon. And, in an admittedly exaggerated statement, the prime minister says Australians' savings will be safer under the bed than in banks if Labor wins the Saturday election. Opinion polls released this week show Labor has an 11 percent lead over Mr. Fraser's Liberals - an increase of 7 percent over its lead last month.
The personalities of the prime minister and Labor Party leader Robert Hawke have dominated the bitter election contest since Mr. Fraser called for a vote four weeks ago. The key plank in the Labor campaign is that it will hammer out an agreement with trade unions on wages and prices.
Liberals charge that the trade unions' power would be increased if Mr. Hawke, former president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, becomes prime minister. Liberals also say interest rates would rise, capital would flow out of the country, and states' rights would be undermined if Labor wins. Both government and opposition say economic problems are voters' main concern. Unemployment is above 10 percent, and inflation above 11 percent.