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Coalition support dives, One Nation on the rise


Support for the federal Coalition is now at its lowest level since Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott as prime minister, the first Newspoll of the year shows.

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As parliament returns this week after the summer break, Labor leads 54 to 46 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

The survey of more than 1700 people taken from last Thursday and published in Monday’s The Australian shows the Coalition’s primary vote falling 39 per cent to 35.

The last time it was that low two years ago, Abbott faced a move to spill his leadership after the he brought back knighthoods, including one for Prince Philip.

Labor’s primary vote remains unchanged at 36 per cent, with independents and minor parties earning a surge in support from 15 to 19 per cent.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party enjoys an eight per cent national primary vote – the same level of support it garnered at the 1998 election.

Support for the Nick Xenophon Team is about 2 per cent nationally, but sits at around 20 per cent in South Australia.

This is the seventh consecutive Newspoll lead for Labor, last holding one this large the weekend before Turnbull successfully challenged Abbott for the leadership.

One of Turnbull’s reasons at the time was the government had lost 30 consecutive Newspolls.

The Coalition’s result comes after a summer of expenses scandals, the loss of the former health minister Sussan Ley from the ministry, and a backlash over the Centrelink debt recovery system.

Turnbull has also come under scrutiny for his $1.75 million donation to the Liberal Party for the 2016 federal election campaign and his “frank and forthright” phone call with US President Donald Trump.

The prime minister insists he’s focused on delivering for Australians, nominating energy prices as a key issue this year.

“Everything I am doing is determined and focused on setting us up to succeed again and again in the future, and ensure that we’ve got the great jobs, the great well-paying jobs, the great opportunities for our kids and grandkids,” he told Laurie Oakes on 60 Minutes.

– with AAP

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