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Australia opposition vulnerable on emissions: poll
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's conservative opposition could receive an election drubbing if it blocks a planned emissions trading scheme, a poll published on Saturday predicted.
The widely watched Newspoll, published in The Weekend Australian, said the opposition coalition could lose at least 20 of its metropolitan seats, resulting in a widened majority for the government.
The results of the poll, taken in mid-September, come amid a battle to get the legislation through the Senate, where the government lacks a majority. A vote scheduled for Friday was delayed and debate will continue on Monday.
A defeat would allow the government to call an early election, but Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he wants to serve a full term.
"I have been elected to serve a full term and that is my intention," Rudd was quoted by Australian Associated Press as saying in Trinidad, where he is attending a Commonwealth summit.
The Newspoll showed that 63 percent of opposition supporters in cities thought the legislation should be passed, while only 28 percent thought it should not.
If one in 10 of those voters switched sides, it would cost the opposition 20 seats it holds with margins of less than 6.5 percent.
The survey also showed that voters aged 18 to 34 favored the government's legislation by a margin of almost five to one.
Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull, who brokered a deal on the legislation which climate change skeptics within his camp are trying to scupper, on Tuesday faces the second challenge to his leadership within a week.
The poll was conducted before Turnbull agreed to the deal, which included more lenient provisions for agriculture and other concessions.
The emissions trading scheme has already been defeated once and if defeated again, it would give the government a trigger to call a double dissolution election for both houses of parliament.
Polls have consistently showed the government would win an early election.
(Editing by Nick Macfie)
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