The Coalition look set to suffer a defeat at the hands of Labor this May as the latest Newspoll results revealed that support for the government has dipped to an historic low.
Labor remains ahead of the Liberal National Party with an unchanged preferred vote of 53-47 per cent, according to the latest Newspoll published by The Australian on Sunday night.
According to the results, the Coalition’s primary vote is currently at 37 per cent, while Labor sit at 39 per cent, with the next federal election just months away.
The two-party preferred vote hasn’t shifted since the start of the year, but both prime minister and the opposition leader have suffered hits to their respective approval ratings.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison managed to retain his lead over Bill Shorten in the preferred leader stakes as he emerged with a slightly lower satisfaction rating of 42 per cent, while Shorten’s approval rating also fell by one point to 35 per cent.
The Newspoll follows a tumultuous week in parliament after Morrison went head to head with Jacinda Ardern over Australia’s deportation policy for foreign criminals.
The New Zealand prime minister has insisted that while she agrees with Australia’s policy to “take a dim view of newly arrived non-citizens committing crimes”, she said New Zealanders who have spent most of their lives in the country and have little or no connection to New Zealand anymore shouldn’t be treated as harshly.
“As in any family it is inevitable that occasionally we will see things differently,” Ardern said in front of the reporters. “We had a frank discussion about New Zealanders who have made their homes in Australia and how they can be given opportunity to live and thrive.”
She added: “We talked about deportations of New Zealanders. In my view, this issue has become corrosive in a relationship over time.”
While she said that she understands the treatment of newly arrived non-citizens, she added: “The New Zealand people have a dim view of the deportation of people who move to Australia as children and have grown up there, with often, little or no lasting connection to here. It is a matter we will continue to discuss.”
.@jacindaardern on her meeting with @ScottMorrisonMP: Like with any family, we have our disagreements. We spoke about the deportation of New Zealanders, which I believe has become corrosive in our relationship over time.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) February 22, 2019
Responding to her strong statements on the issue, Morrison,who took over as PM in August following a second leadership spill in the Liberal party room, told reporters that Australia had “very well-defined immigration and citizenship laws” and his government had “taken a very strong line” on it – insisting the policy is not restricted to New Zealanders.