Kevin Rudd's return as Australia's Prime Minister has turned into an immediate boost in support for the ruling Labor Party, a poll has shown.
The national poll of 3,000 Australians, taken on the night Rudd was reinstated to the Labor leadership after defeating Julia Gillard in a challenge, shows a 6 percent leap in support.
The opposition coalition led by Tony Abbott still leads Labor 52-48 percent in the two-party preferred vote after preferences are distributed, according to the 7News ReachTEL national poll cited by the Fairfax media.
Last month,a Gillard-led Labor party trailed the opposition 58-42 percent in the same category.
Tellingly, most of those polled also believed Kevin Rudd would make a better Prime Minister than Tony Abbott.
Rudd was painted by his fellow party members and some staff as a dysfunctional and quick-tempered leader before being ousted by Gillard from the leadership — and, as a result, the office of prime minister — in 2010.
However, he has always been widely popular in the electorate, the main reason the party decided to dump Gillard and reinstate him as leader this week.
The opposition, meantime, has pointed out that Rudd's return has come at the cost of seven ministers, who quit both for personal reasons and out of loyalty to Gillard.
Among them is Peter Garrett, former frontman of the band '80s rock band Midnight Oil, who had served as the country's Education Minister during the past three years.
After listing his achievements as a lawmaker, he quipped:
"I won't jump up on my ministerial desk and do an air guitar, I won't come into the House and quote my song lyrics. I won't take the opportunities that are afforded to people who have celebrity status to use that to advance either the causes of the government or the political party that I've come here as a member of."
The ABC quoted Opposition Senate leader Eric Abetz as saying Friday:
"The fact that one-third of the Cabinet walked away as a result of Kevin Rudd's ascension to the leadership tells you everything you need to know about the man."
However, Rudd's chosen new Treasurer, Chris Bowen, said the transition had been smooth.
"Kevin Rudd has a tough choice to choose between lots of very talented members of parliament."