Nikolic would lose seat in Bass: poll

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic.

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic.

BASS Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic would lose his seat if an election was held tomorrow, according to a survey of the Northern electorate.

A telephone poll conducted late last month has revealed a 6 per cent swing against the federal Liberal Party in the marginal seat.

The polling was commissioned by the National Tertiary Education Union, which represents staff in the higher education sector.

Labor would win back Bass from the Liberals by 52 per cent to 48 per cent in a two-party preferred tussle at the next election, according to figures drawn from the poll.

Mr Nikolic would be ejected from Parliament despite his personal net approval rating rising by 8 per cent.

The poll revealed Prime Minister Tony Abbott's net approval rating had plummeted by 25 per cent.

NTEU Tasmanian president Kelvin Michael said the results highlighted a backlash against the government's changes to higher education.

``Tasmanians clearly think a degree shouldn't cost a mortgage,'' Mr Michael said.

``It makes you wonder whose interests Andrew Nikolic is representing.''

More than 1100 voters took part in the survey, with 63 per cent opposed to cutting public funding to universities.

About two-thirds of respondents were against increasing student fees.

More than half of those surveyed opposed providing government funding to privately owned higher education institutions.

Mr Nikolic dismissed the survey's findings, saying questions included were misleading and simplistic.

``It's a poll based on a lie and is taken straight out of the Labor-unions dirty tricks book,'' Mr Nikolic said.

``The measures we've implemented actually strengthen the higher education system, expand opportunities and access for students and grow investment in university research.''

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