Rudd up there but heaven can wait for Howard

Kevin Rudd has a better chance of reaching heaven than incumbent PM John Howard, according to a public opinion poll which also found ex-Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett the holiest of all.

The Age reports voters believe federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd has a better chance of getting into heaven than Prime Minister John Howard.

After a large proportion of "don't knows" were set aside, 61 per cent of respondents to a survey thought Mr Rudd would achieve eternal bliss, compared with 47 per cent for Mr Howard.

The prime minister, in fact, fared the worst of six well-known politicians - including right-wing firebrand Pauline Hanson - on getting past the pearly gates.

On the other hand, Mr Rudd was eclipsed by his own environment spokesman, former rock star Peter Garrett.

The Midnight Oil frontman can get himself fitted for wings after topping the poll with 74 per cent.

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown was second with 66 per cent, while former One Nation leader Ms Hanson and Health Minister Tony Abbott, a devout Catholic, were equal on 52 per cent.

When "don't knows" were included, Mr Garrett's top score came down to 40 per cent.

The Pollinate poll conducted for the Australia Institute surveyed 928 respondents who were all members of an online research panel.

Sixty-three per cent of those polled said they believed in some form of life after death.

To get an opinion from believers and non-believers alike, respondents were asked if each politician deserved to go to heaven.

Rudd given better chance in heaven: poll

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31 Jul 2007