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Labor still leads despite PM's strong showing: Newspoll

Politics

Labor continues to lead the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis while Malcolm Turnbull is still preferred Prime Minister over Bill Shorten in the latest Newspoll.

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Labor is ahead of the Coalition 52 per cent to 48 on a two-party basis but the primary vote for the two sides is unchanged on 38 per cent.

It is the 34th consecutive losing Newspoll for the government since Turnbull took over the leadership from Tony Abbott almost three years ago.

Satisfaction with Turnbull’s performance has reached 40 per cent for the first time. Shorten, who continues to lag as preferred PM, has seen his rating drop slightly.

The poll published in The Australian covered a period that heavily featured the scandal involving former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, who was criticised by some colleagues for conducting a paid interview about the birth of his son to former staffer Vikki Campion.

The Newspoll also reveals One Nation has taken a hit in its primary vote – which fell from eight to six per cent – following a public spat between leader Pauline Hanson and Senator Brian Burston. The Greens gained one point, with their primary vote sitting at 10 per cent.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott seized on the poll to restate his calls for more coal-fired power and less immigration.

“Obviously if you lose two years of Newspoll that does tell you something,” Abbott told 2GB radio today.

“What I think it tells us as the government is that we have to do something different. As I used to say in a different context, you don’t need to change the leader but by God you do need to change the policy.”

Treasurer Scott Morrison believes the Coalition is well placed with less than a year until the election.

“We’ve got a prime minister who continues to show that he’s the right choice for Australians and there’s a reason,” he told the Seven Network.

– AAP

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