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Australia's Labor PM breaks her 'read my lips' promise on imposing a carbon tax... and her popularity slumps

Tim Montgomerie

The leader, Julia Gillard, and Treasury spokesman, Wayne Swann, of Australia's Labor party promised not to introduce a carbon tax. They even called the idea a "hysterical allegation":

And then, once re-elected with a hodge-podge coalition of greens and independents, announced that they would introduce a carbon tax.

The result has been a big fall in Labor's popularity, down to 30%.

Dennis Shanahan, Political Editor of The Australian, writes:

"The Prime Minister has staked her leadership on her bold declaration to be decisive on climate change and act where her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, had retreated. She's decided that with an election scheduled in 2013, she must act now with her Greens partners, bed down a carbon tax next year and recover her political standing in time to win government in her own right... [in the meantime] Gillard has suffered a pizzling from the electorate over her broken vow and will find it almost impossible to reassure people that the guarantees she gives about cost rises and compensation will be delivered. But the greatest loss for Labor is the majority of Australians, including a sudden swath of younger voters to have switched sides, who now oppose a carbon plan with cost rises."


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