Polls say Labor must ditch Gillard to win regional seats

LABOR could see a swing of up to 7% in key marginal seats if the party dumps Prime Minister Julia Gillard for Kevin Rudd in the lead up to the election.

A poll released by Fairfax Media yesterday showed the swing of nearly 7% could be achieved in all-important marginal seats in western Sydney.

It showed the seats held by three Cabinet Ministers could see an improvement of between 4% and 6% if Mr Rudd led the ailing party to the election.

Less than 100 days out from "the only poll that counts", pressure was building during the week, with rising talk of the potential leadership change.

The Fairfax-ReachTel poll showed Schools Education Minister Peter Garrett, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare could retain their seats under Mr Rudd.

All three of those Cabinet Ministers would instead be likely to lose their seats if Ms Gillard remains as Labor leader.

The poll sparked renewed speculation yesterday that Ms Gillard's supporters could turn on her, in a bid to increase the number of Labor seats despite a likely election loss overall.