In what must come as a severe body blow to Malcolm Turnbull, a new Newspoll published in The Australian, has Malcolm Turnbull rated as the preferred Prime Minister at just 20% compared to Kevin Rudd’s rating of 65%.
In the context of a severe economic downturn, increasing unemployment and an uncertain outlook, a 40% lead in terms of the preferred PM must seem like an insurmountable chasm for Turnbull to narrow.
This result almost certainly guarantees Rudd a second term as PM, and if he happens to lift Australia out of recession in his second term, who would deny him a third term? (Unless of course he was found to be running a child porn racket or something like that).
Despite various, and sometimes credible attempts to malign the government over its handling of the GFC, industrial relations and alcopops, the Liberal party must today be conducting some serious navel gazing as to how and what it will take to counter the Rudd juggernaut.
Satisfaction with Mr Turnbull’s performance hit 42 per cent, down from 44 per cent two weeks ago, and dissatisfaction was at a new high of 40 per cent.
The lift in voter satisfaction with the Prime Minister has come after the passage of Labor’s industrial relations laws and finalisation of the Government’s $42 billion economic stimulus package.
Despite two weeks of crucial parliamentary sittings, the support for the major parties is virtually unchanged.
Primary support for the ALP is now 45 per cent compared with 44 per cent two weeks ago, while the Coalition’s primary support is 37 per cent compared with 36 per cent a fortnight ago.
The two-party-preferred result, based on preference flows at the last election, is unchanged, with the ALP on 56 per cent and the Coalition on 44 per cent.
The Labor Government has held a lead over the Coalition of between eight and 18 percentage points after preferences since last December.
In the past two weeks, which included a hectic period in the Senate during which the industrial relations legislation was passed but the $1.6 billion alcopops tax was defeated, and two more Australian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, satisfaction with Mr Rudd remained steady on 63 per cent.
Mr Rudd attributed Labor’s success to the fact it was seen as standing for something.
“People expect consistency of approach, not just opportunism, and I think that’s the message for all political parties,” he said.
So where does this leave the Liberal Party, and Malcolm Turnbull – Mister 20 percent? Clearly their current approach has been inneffectual, which makes one wonder how many rabbits they have left in the hat?
Filed under: Australian Politics |