The Abbott government's budget popularity bump has disappeared

Tony Abbott’s struggling to stay in front – and not just in the polls. Picture Getty Images.

The polls in today’s Fairfax newspapers make dismal reading for the Abbott government.

A bounce in popularity last month from the federal budget, which included tax breaks for small businesses and some handouts for families, has crumbled to dust. Labor is now ahead on a two-party-preferred basis by six points, 53-47.

There have been a few political key political themes in recent weeks:

The details in the survey hint at what might be driving the reversal of fortune. Among Sydney residents, 80% say housing is unaffordable and across all capital cities the number is 69%.

Proposals for citizenship-stripping, despite being constitutionally problematic and the source of tension within Coalition ranks, are surprisingly popular. Here’s the result on the now-defunct proposal to strip sole nationals of their citizenship – the issue which triggered a backlash in cabinet against Abbott which was subsequently leaked.

Overall the issues combine to have the government looking out of touch and not in control of its message on these three major issues. It doesn’t inspire confidence.

Consumer sentiment, which can be a good leading indicator for political polling, had a similar dive last week.

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