But Labor remains ahead on a two-party preferred basis for the 19th Newspoll in a row, nearly two years after Turnbull cited the polls for ousting Tony Abbott as prime minister.
The latest Newspoll in The Australian shows the Coalition trailing Labor 47 per cent to 53 on a two-party preferred basis, up from a previous 46 to 54 per cent.
Despite his government’s struggle to bridge the gap to Labor, Turnbull overall has increased his lead as Australia’s preferred leader, with 46 per cent to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s 29 per cent.
On the primary vote, the Coalition improved from 35 to 37 per cent, Labor was steady on 38 per cent, the Greens flatlined at 9 per cent, while Pauline Hanson’s One Nation dropped from 9 to 8 per cent.
Turnbull replaced Abbott as leader in September 2015, claiming at the time the loss of 30 consecutive Newspolls was part of his justification.
The acrimony between the two men has plagued the federal Liberal party recently and won’t be helped by News Corp Australia report on Monday.
The report claims Turnbull gave “a scathing, expletive-ridden assessment” of Abbott’s prime ministership in front of other cabinet ministers after a black-tie event in Sydney 14 months before Abbott was dumped.
– with AAP
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