Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s centre—left Labour government may be voted out in the upcoming elections after a six per cent drop in voter support, mostly blamed on a proposed mining tax.

According to a Nielsen survey, Rudd’s centre—left Labour government has fallen behind the main conservative Liberal—National opposition, led by Tony Abbott, at 47 per cent to 53 per cent.

If replicated at an election—due by April 2011 at the latest, but more likely to be called within months, the result would strip Labour of 29 seats and its current majority in the lower house of representatives, The Sydney Morning Herald reported today.

Mr. Rudd’s poll troubles come as Labour wages an intense debate over a proposed new tax that would impact the mining industry.

Under the proposed Resource Super Profits Tax, resource companies would pay a tax of 40 per cent on profit above a certain rate of return. It still requires approval by Australian lawmakers.

A month ago, just after the tax was announced, the poll found 44 per cent supported it and 47 per cent opposed it. The latest poll finds support has fallen to 41 per cent while opposition has risen to 49 per cent.

Mr. Rudd also admitted that he faced a “huge” task in turning around the slide.

“The truth is if these polls were reflected on election day, Mr. Abbott will become the prime minister,” Mr. Rudd told public radio.

Mr. Rudd took power in late 2007 and had led in polls until recent weeks.

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