CABINET minister Craig Emerson says history shows Labor can still win the September federal election.Government MPs are returning to Canberra today for the start of a new parliamentary year against the backdrop of two new opinion polls showing Labor heading for a massive defeat.
Newspoll has the Coalition leading Labor 56-44 per cent on a two-party preferred basis and a Galaxy poll has the Coalition ahead 54-46 per cent.
Dr Emerson said the Gillard government faced a similar task to the Keating government 20 years ago.
"Governments have been in these sorts of positions before," he told ABC Radio.
"In the 1993 election, (it was a) very similar position where Labor was well behind but won that election, not just by a little bit ... but did very, very well."
Dr Emerson also cited the Howard government's poor standing ahead of the 2001 and 2004 elections before the Coalition won both comprehensively.
He insists Labor will be competitive for the September 14 election.
Meanwhile, Kevin Rudd could be reconsidered as leader in the wake of the polls, according to former Liberal minister Amanda Vanstone.
Ms Vanstone said the polls could see those in marginal seats reconsider Mr Rudd.
"If you think you're going to lose your seat you look at someone who you don't like, you think, `wouldn't be a bad leader I might keep my seat'," she told the Nine Network.
"It'll be a rough time for Julia now."
However, former Hawke government minister Graham Richardson said Mr Rudd would not make a tilt for leadership unless he was sure of numbers, which he doesn't have at the moment.
"It isn't as simple as that because of this personal dislike of Rudd," Mr Richardson told the Nine Network.
"It's so strong with so many people in the caucus. Some of them will never vote for him no matter what joy he would bring them."