Labor lead over Coalition widened to eight points

BYYasir Rehman


In the final year of their second consecutive government, Coalition primary vote dropped to a new low thanks to unabated controversies embroiling Liberals & Nationals leaders. The latest Guardian Essential poll released on Tuesday shows that the ALP jumps to eight point lead over Coalition as less than a year left for next Parliamentary contest.

According to the Guardian, a messy political week for the Turnbull government and the revival of the Barnaby Joyce controversy appears to have propelled Labor further in front in the national political contest as the ALP is now ahead of the Coalition 54% to 46%.

The positive jump for Labor, propelled by a four-point drop in the Coalition’s primary vote, reverses a tightening in the political contest in the weeks after the Turnbull government used the budget in May to promise voters a $140bn income tax cut package.

The two-party-preferred result a fortnight ago was 51% to 49%, with Labor ahead – which was the first time the major party gap had been that close since November 2016.
The week before that, Labor was ahead of the Coalition 52% to 48%, and the week before that Labor was ahead 53% to 47%, which was the same result as the two previous fortnightly surveys.

The dip this fortnight follows renewed controversy over Joyce’s private life and his decision to accept $150,000 from the Seven Network for a tell-all interview with his new partner and former staffer, Vikki Campion.

The government faced further difficulty last week with splits over energy policy and live sheep exports, and battled separate controversies when the jobs minister, Michaelia Cash, was summoned to give evidence in court, and the health minister, Greg Hunt, washed up on the front pages of the tabloids after an expletive-ridden confrontational outburst against a local mayor.

Guardian poll claims that despite the two-party-preferred result deteriorating over the stiffing fortnight of the parliamentary sitting, the latest poll of 1,025 respondents is not all bad news for the Coalition.

According to the polls, Turnbull recorded his best net approval rating since June 2016, with 42% of the sample approving of his performance as prime minister, up two points from a month ago, and 42% disapproving – a change in net approval rating from minus two to zero.

Turnbull also remains comfortably ahead as preferred prime minister, with 41% rating him as better prime minister (up a point in a month) and 27% backing Shorten. Turnbull is preferred by both men and women, with 48% of men preferring him and 27% Shorten, while 34% of women prefer Turnbull and 26% Shorten.