Tony Abbott was one of the most unpopular political leaders ever to win an election, a new study shows.
The Australian National University has taken the pulse of voters on a range of issues including leadership in its latest Australian Election Study.
For the first time since the study began in 1987, none of the nation’s political leaders scored above an average of five on a scale of 0-10, with 0 for strongly dislike and 10 for strongly like.
Nationals leader Warren Truss was the most popular leader following the 2013 election with a score of 4.34, followed by Mr Abbott (4.29).
Labor leaders Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd scored 4.04 and 4.07 respectively, while Greens leader Christine Milne was the least popular on 3.81.
“Tony Abbott, on average, is less popular than any prime minister in the history of the study, which began in 1987,” report co-author Sarah Cameron said.
“However, Abbott compared favourably to former Labor leaders Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.”
The report also found Mr Abbott’s popularity did not change significantly from 2010 to 2013, although he became relatively more popular than Ms Gillard or Mr Rudd.
The top issue for voters in 2013 was the economy (28 per cent), followed by health (19 per cent), education (15 per cent), tax (11 per cent) and refugees and asylum seekers (10 per cent).
The coalition was rated higher than Labor for its policies on tax and immigration.
But more people preferred Labor’s policies on education, health, the environment, and global warming.
The survey of 3955 people was conducted over eight weeks following the September election.