The Morrison government has fallen to its lowest level of support with voters since the Black Summer bushfires as Labor took the lead 52-48 in the latest Newspoll survey released on Sunday night.
Based on 1521 online interviews conducted between March 10 and 13, the exclusive Newspoll commissioned by The Australian newspaper found popular support for the Liberal and Nationals coalition had fallen three points in three weeks as fallout from the Brittany Higgins and Christian Porter sexual assault allegations and the slow rollout of the coronavirus vaccines take their toll.
Labor’s primary vote lifted two points to 39 points, which is the first time in this electoral cycle that the parties have registered equal support nationally.
When converted to a two-party-preferred basis, it has lifted Labor to a potential election-winning lead of 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
#BREAKING: The Coalition has slumped as the government reels from the fallout of sexual assault allegations and the slow vaccine rollout. But Scott Morrison has avoided a major backlash. #Newspoll https://t.co/uuJxWLsXdv pic.twitter.com/Vp5hnfFZK3
— The Australian (@australian) March 14, 2021
The poll follows major announcements by the government over the past fortnight including its $3.57-a-day permanent change in JobSeeker payments, the much-criticised half-price airfares for up to 800,000 holidaymakers to support the aviation industry, and the looming end of JobKeeper on March 28.
But Mr Morrison’s inaction on meaningfully addressing concerns raised by women about alleged sexual assaults have disrupted the government’s attempts to focus on jobs, the economy and the vaccine rollout.
— Michelle Grattan (@michellegrattan) March 14, 2021
It helped Mr Albanese increase his personal approval rating four points to 42 per cent, but he still trailed Mr Morrison (62 per cent, down two per cent).
In the preferred PM category, the Prime Minister leads 56 per cent (down four points) to Mr Albanese’s 30 per cent (up four points).
It is the tightest margin between the two leaders since pre-pandemic levels.
The poll also reveals support for the Greens remaining stable at 10 per cent, One Nation unchanged at 3 per cent, and other minor parties accounting for 9 per cent of the intended vote.
The poll does not take into account the landslide Western Australian election win by Mark McGowan’s Labor party on Saturday night that left Liberals with only three seats and the Nationals four.
Labor is expected to take up to 53 of the 59 lower house seats.