Support for Turnbull slumps as Labor and Coalition deadlocked in Newspoll
Coalition and Labor tied at 50% each on two-party preferred basis as support for the prime minister dips from 53% in January to 48% in latest poll
Monday 22 February 2016 06.57
The honeymoon appears to be over for Malcolm Turnbull with the latest poll showing the Coalition and Labor are deadlocked and the prime minister’s approval rating tumbling.
The Newspoll, published in the Australian on Monday, shows the Coalition’s primary vote has slumped three points to 43% since January, the lowest level seen since Tony Abbott was ousted five months ago.
Labor’s primary vote has jumped one point to 35% in the same period.
In two-party preferred terms, the Coalition and Labor are tied at 50% each, a sharp drop for the government from a six percentage point lead it had maintained since November.
A series of ministerial resignations and oustings and confusion over the government’s policy direction has undermined the Coalition’s standing in the polls.
In late December, former cities minister, Jamie Briggs, resigned from the ministry over inappropriate conduct involving a female diplomatic staffer, and embattled frontbencher Mal Brough stood aside pending an investigation into his role in the Peter Slipper affair.
Brough resigned from the ministry prior to February’s reshuffle, which was expedited by the retirement of Nationals leader and deputy prime minister, Warren Truss, and the trade minister, Andrew Robb.
Stuart Robert was dumped from the ministry at the same time, after it was revealed that he travelled in an unofficial capacity to China for the signing of a mining deal with the owner of a company in which he had holdings.
The scandals have taken a toll on support for the prime minister, with 48% of voters satisfied with Turnbull’s performance, down from 53% in January.
But Turnbull still holds a dominating lead over the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, in the preferred prime minister stakes, leading 55% to 21%. Shorten’s standing has improved significantly since hitting a near-record low of 14% in early December.
Some 47% of those polled were in favour of Labor’s policy of ending negative gearing for established homes, with 31% opposed and 22% undecided.
Support among Labor voters was 60% with only 40% of Coalition voters endorsing the move.
The treasurer, Scott Morrison, has rubbished Labor’s proposal to restrict negative gearing to new homes, saying it amounts to “selling the public a unicorn”.
The government has yet to announce its economic policy leading up to this year’s federal election, after Turnbull comprehensively dumped plans to raise the goods and services tax to 15%.