Things aren’t looking too good for prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.
In the latest Newspoll published by The Australian, the PM has lost his 29th poll in a row on a two-party preferred basis. This means that he’s now one loss away from matching former prime minister Tony Abbott’s 30 poll losing streak.
You’ll recall that Turnbull took over from Abbott as the Liberal Party leader in 2015, noting that losing 30 Newspolls in a row as a main reason for stepping up as leader and ditching Abbott.
Labor is now ahead of the Liberals when it comes to the primary vote. Labor is sitting at 39 per cent, while the Coalition remains at 37 per cent. It’s also good news for Bill Shorten, whose satisfaction rating is now at 34 per cent, compared to Turnbull’s 32 per cent. Meanwhile, One Nation remains at seven per cent, while the Greens are unchanged at nine per cent.
Turnbull is still in front when it comes to preferred leader of Australia, sailing ahead of Shorton by three points at 39 per cent. It’s a particularly worrying time for Turnbull, who has said that he would step down if he ever lost 30 Newspolls in a row.
In 2015, Turnbull suggested that losing 30 Newspolls in a row was the public’s way of saying they wanted a change in leadership. “The one thing that is clear about our current situation is the trajectory,” he said at the time. “We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row. It is clear that the people have made up their mind about Mr Abbott’s leadership.”
Earlier this month, Abbott appeared on 2GB radio where he said he Turnbull should never have let the Newspolls determine leadership. “I never made the polls the be all and the end all,” he explained to host Ray Hadley.
“I never turned the poll into the ultimate test of leadership. It was someone else who did that. It was the prime minister who set this test and I guess if he fails the test it will be the prime minister who will have to explain why the test was right for one and not right for the other.”
Turnbull also faced criticism from Leigh Sales on ABC’s 7:30 show. She asked whether it was fair for Abbott to make comments about Turnbull’s popularity when it comes to NewsPolls. Unimpressed, Turnbull said it was up to the party to determine the leader of the Liberal Party.
— abc730 (@abc730) March 12, 2018
“The only test that determines whether you lead the Liberal party or not, is having the support of the party,” he told the host.
On Monday morning, Turnbull addressed the media where he said he wasn’t focusing on the number. A journalist asked the PM how he felt about the results and said it wasn’t good news. “Why are you smiling then if it is not good news?” he asked the journalist. “Why are you smiling then if it is not good news? You are so pleased, I know why; because you are so happy about all of the jobs we have created. Because you are not distracted by polls.
“You know that we have created 420,700 jobs in Australia in the last year. You know that is the number we’re focused on. We’re focused on creating opportunities for Australians. We’re focused on getting taxes down. We’re seeking to reduce business taxes to allow Australian businesses to invest and compete and create even more great jobs that will make you smile even more. That’s what we’re doing. That’s our commitment.”
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