Why Australians are in for a WILD six week election campaign as shock new poll reveals Scott Morrison could still win – as a major problem emerges for Albo
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison gets big poll boost just hours after election called
- New poll give Mr Morrison hope of another come from behind victory, like 2019
- Labor’s primary vote dropped to 37 per cent, it was 41 per cent three weeks ago
The Coalition got a major boost in the polls just hours after the federal election was called for May 21.
Scott Morrison has surged ahead as preferred prime minister over Anthony Albanese, while Labor’s primary vote has dropped to its lowest level since October.
The gap between the Liberal-National Coalition and Labor is now at its closest this year and will give Mr Morrison hope of another come from behind victory in what is set to be a wild six week campaign.
In a major headache for Mr Albanese, Mr Morrison has stretched his lead as preferred prime minister to the highest point in two months.
Scott Morrison (pictured) has got some welcome good news as the six week federal election campaign began on Sunday
Mr Albanese fell three points in the category to 39 per cent while Mr Morrison rose one point to 44 per cent in the latest poll for The Australian.
Labor’s primary vote has dropped a point to 37 per cent, which will be of great concern to the party as its primary vote was 41 per cent just three weeks ago.
Its current support of 37 per cent is the same number it had at the start of the 2019 election campaign, which the Coalition won despite all published polls saying it would lose.
The Coalition’s primary vote is now just one point behind Labor’s at 36 per cent.
Support for minor parties and independents has increased to 27 per cent thanks to Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party rising to 4 per cent after weeks of wall to wall political advertising.
House of Representatives (151 members)
23 Liberal National Party of Queensland
43 Liberal Party of Australia
10 National Party
(76 in total for Coalition government)
68 Australian Labor Party
1 Australian Greens (Adam Bandt)
1 Centre Alliance (Rebekha Sharkie)
1 United Australia Party (Craig Kelly)
3 Independent (Zali Steggall, Andrew Wilkie, Helen Haines)
1 Katter’s Australian Party (Bob Katter)
In the 2019 election the billionaire Mr Palmer outspent both the government and the Labor opposition and seems set to do so again this time.
The Greens and One Nation remain steady on 10 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, while ‘others’ – which mostly means independent candidates – are also on 10 per cent.
The fall in Labor’s primary vote has resulted in a one-point gain for the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis, though Labor still has an election winning 53-47 lead.
If this was replicated in all 151 lower-house seats on election day, the Coalition could lose up to 10 lower house seats, giving Labor a narrow victory.
The improved numbers for the Coalition and for Mr Morrison personally have followed a tough week for the Prime Minister.
Not only was he the subject of bitter infighting within the Liberal Party, he was also publicly berated by a pensioner in the NSW city of Newcastle.
Mr Morrison’s approval rating is unchanged in the latest poll, with 42 per cent of voters approving of his performance as Prime Minister, while 54 per cent were dissatisfied.
But Mr Albanese suffered a second consecutive fall in personal approval, with a one-point drop to 42.
There was also a one-point rise to 45 per cent in those dissatisfied by the Labor leader’s performance.
Anthony Albanese (pictured) has suffered a second consecutive fall in personal approval, with a one-point drop to 42
Speaking on ABC News on Sunday night, Mr Morrison said Australians would be ‘risking it all’ if they voted for Labor.
He said the election was not about him. ‘It’s about you, who are watching, and your priorities, and ensuring that your job, your future, training for young people right across the country, the investment in the infrastructure that we’re delivering a stronger economy, delivering that stronger future.’
Mr Albanese appeared on SBS News on Sunday, where he said his focus is on building a stronger future.
‘We need to have a better future … we need a government that addresses the challenges of the present by anticipating and creating a better future,’ he said.
What are the key issues at this election?
COVID-19: Scott Morrison has been labelled ‘SloMo’ over delays in the vaccine rollout, and the ‘prime minister for NSW’ over his attitude towards the states’ handling of the pandemic. But will voters credit him for Australia’s internationally-low rate of severe illness and death? Or will voters hand Anthony Albanese the job of leading the post-pandemic health and economic recovery?
BUDGET AND ECONOMY: The jobless rate has remained low despite the pandemic and the economy is on a sound footing. But under-employment is high and the rate of casual and insecure work is of concern to many Australians. And government debt is at unprecedented levels with no prospect of being repaid any time soon. Inflation has many concerned, with an interest rate hike looming.
TAXES: Scott Morrison insists he will drive down taxes on workers and businesses and the coalition is best placed to keep taxes low over the long term. Labor’s immediate priority is dealing with multinational tax avoidance, but the coalition is seeking to convince voters a Labor budget would contain hidden nasties.
CLIMATE: The coalition and Labor are committed to net-zero emissions by 2050. Labor has a more ambitious medium-term target than the coalition. The issue has effectively been neutralised as a debating point, but a coalition campaign over Labor pushing up power prices can be expected. Independent candidates backed by Climate 200 are campaigning on doing more than either of the major parties.
BORDERS: The coalition says Labor’s soft stance on border protection will reopen the people smuggling trade and result in deaths at sea and a major cost blowout on detention centres. Labor says it supports boat turnbacks and offshore processing but will do so in a more humane way.
HEALTH: The coalition has boosted hospital funding for the states and territories. Labor says it will restore funding to the system and the coalition can’t be trusted with Medicare.
EDUCATION: The school funding debate seems to have settled. But Labor argues universities have been left to die by the coalition, especially as the international student market dried up during the pandemic.
NATIONAL SECURITY: The coalition says it is best placed to handle terrorism, China and other threats to national security and is more willing than Labor to enact laws to give greater powers to police and intelligence agencies. Labor says national security is a bipartisan priority, but wants to ensure there are proper checks and balances in any new powers.
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS: The coalition is taking a hands-off approach when it comes to the Fair Work Commission’s decision-making, which now has more employer-focused personnel. It also warns of Labor being dictated to by the unions. Labor says the existing system needs reform as workers are not benefiting from economic growth, in terms of higher wages, and casuals are being exploited.
INTEGRITY: The government has long-promised a Commonwealth Integrity Commission but argues Labor stood in its way. Labor says a national integrity commission with teeth is needed. The debate has given impetus to independent candidates targeting Liberal seats.
WOMEN: Scott Morrison was forced into doing more to address women’s safety when Brittany Higgins went public with an allegation of being raped in a minister’s office, and Christian Porter defended an accusation of historic assault which he firmly denies. Labor argues it is best placed to deal with women’s safety and empowerment and is more committed than the coalition to running female candidates in winnable seats.