It’s been a tough first week in Parliament after the winter break for the Prime Minister and the latest polls won’t do much to ease the pressure.
According to the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll of 1402 respondents taken between 13 and 15 August, should a federal election have been held at the weekend, we would be seeing a change in government, with a 7.5 per cent swing in voters’ preferences. This would result in a loss of 36 seats for the Coalition. In order to form a majority government, Labor need only to secure 21 seats from the Coalition, so 36 would result in a landslide victory. In the two party preferred vote of 46/54, the Government is eight per cent behind the ALP. In terms of a primary vote, the Government only has a marginal buffer of two per cent above Labor’s 36 per cent. At 38 per cent, this is also eight per cent below the 46 per cent of the primary vote it secured in the last election.
When polled on individual leaders, neither Tony Abbott nor Bill Shorten have improved their popularity. Mr Abbott has a disapproval rating of 59 per cent and an approval rating of only 35 per cent. And, while Bill Shorten has increased his approval rating by four per cent to 39 per cent, his disapproval rating is 49 per cent.
As the government continues to hit the wrong note with the general public on policies concerning same-sex marriage and global warming, bickering within the Liberal Party isn’t helping to steady the ship. The solution for the Coalition could lie in a change of leadership. Malcolm Turnbull scored 41 per cent of the vote on a preferred Liberal leader, with Julie Bishop on 23 per cent and Tony Abbott on 15 per cent.
There is some good news for Tony Abbott; his popularity remains intact with Coalition voters. The PM has 33 per cent of the vote for preferred leader, with Mr Turnbull on 25 per cent and Ms Bishop on 23 per cent. For those interested, Treasurer Joe Hockey only scored six per cent of the vote for preferred leader.
Is it time for a change at the top? Or should Tony Abbott take heart from the Coalition voters and hold his line? Why do you think Malcolm Turnbull is consistently preferred as Liberal leader amongst the electorate at large, but not coalition voters?
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.