Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
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The number of Australians supporting the US-led war against Iraq outweigh the opponents for the first time after a change in sentiment as the conflict began last week, according to an opinion poll today.
The Newspoll survey of 1200 people in The Australian newspaper found support for military action to disarm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein rose to 50 per cent as war began from 45 per cent, with more backing from women, younger people and opposition Labour supporters.
The number opposing Australia's involvement in the war, with 2000 Australian military personnel now in action in the Gulf, fell to 42 per cent in the March 21-23 survey from 47 per cent in a similar poll conducted on the eve of the conflict.
The turnaround in sentiment is mirrored in polling in Britain where there was a large swing in opinion as the conflict began on March 20, with 54 per cent of Britons now approving of the war.
The Newspoll survey found the change in Australians' sentiment had also boosted the standing of Prime Minister John Howard and his conservative government which has consistently led in the polls since winning a third term in government in 2001.
Sixty per cent of 1150 respondents chose Howard as preferred prime minister, up from 51 per cent in a poll a week earlier, and his coalition government had 45 per cent support compared to Labour's 34 per cent. The next election is due by early 2005.
Support for Labour leader Simon Crean, who is struggling to gain traction with voters, fell again with only 19 per cent of respondents choosing him as preferred leader, down from 22 per cent, and 58 per cent dissatisfied with his performance.
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