Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has suffered another massive hit in the polls as the Coalition and opposition continue to bicker over the dual citizenship crisis that has the government facing two by-elections in the coming weeks.
While the government already lags Labor in the polls, the latest Newspoll, conducted over the weekend and published in The Australian today, has voters turning away from Turnbull in a key area where he held a strong lead over Labor’s Bill Shorten – preferred prime minister.
The dual citizenship crisis, which saw the government lose Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce, deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash, Liberal senate president Stephen Parry, and on the weekend, Liberal backbencher John Alexander, appears to have damaged Turnbull in the eyes of the electorate, with his preferred PM rating plunging 5% to a fresh low of just 36% and only two points in front of Shorten on 34%.
Turnbull was 17 points ahead of Shorten just 10 weeks ago.
Voter disgust with both sides of politics – Labor and the Coalition are now threatening to “go nuclear” against each other over the citizenship issue – is reflected in the fact that 30% of voters prefer neither leader.
Of additional concern to Turnbull is the fact that the Coalition has now trailed Labor in 23 consecutive polls on a two-party preferred basis, putting him just over three months away from the 30 negative polls in a row he cited as justification for rolling Tony Abbott for the leadership in 2015.
While satisfaction with Shorten’s performance has increased to 34%, their attitude to Turnbull has gone the other way and the gap to the ALP leader has increased with the PM falling two points to 29%.
Shorten’s net satisfaction rating — the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied voters – is now at 19 points, while Turnbull’s is 29, which Newspoll says is his worst rating since the end of February.
The Coalition looks set to end the year as badly as it began, with Labor ahead 55% to 45% on a two-party basis. The Coalition’s primary vote has also slipped 1% to 34% since the start of the month. Labor’s primary vote is up 1% to 38%.
Support for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has increased, while support for the Greens has fallen.
The Australian has more here.
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