It’s good news and bad for the government today, with the latest polling numbers showing Opposition leader Bill Shorten quickly closing in on Malcolm Turnbull as preferred prime minister.
While Shorten still trails Turnbull in the popularity vote, Newspoll results published in The Australian show he has narrowed the PM’s lead by eight percentage points landing at 41 per cent to 33 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Labor Party still leads on a two-party preferred basis at 53 to 47 per cent.
Recent political wins have done little to boost Turnbull or the wider Coalition’s numbers, with former PM Tony Abbott running a vocal campaign against his own party.
The government celebrated passing the reformed Gonski legislation two weeks ago, but was quickly sidelined by Abbott’s public criticism of the party and a leaked tape of Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne bragging about his power within the government and their plans to legalise same-sex marriage sooner than anyone expected.
However, it’s not all bad news for Turnbull.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told ABC radio that Bill Shorten should be worried about his position as leader of the Opposition given poll numbers show he only made small gains against the government.
“Given the fortnight that we’ve had if I was Bill Shorten I’d actually be quite concerned that he didn’t make any progress,” he said.