Labor has increased its lead on the Coalition in the latest Morgan Poll, putting the opposition in a strong position to win government.
Five states would hand government to the ALP if an election were held today, with only Western Australia holding out for the Coalition.
The poll shows a turnaround in expected short-term fortunes after the budget in May, which gave the government a rosy glow. But overall the poll confirms a long-term trend that has seen the Abbott regime out of favour since the beginning of 2014.
A majority of men and women picked Labor in the poll of 3297 eligible voters nationwide, and 2.5 per cent of women have swung towards the opposition in the past two weeks.
Overall, the opposition has welcomed a 1.5 per cent swing putting them at 54.5 per cent against the government’s 45.5 per cent.
The Greens are up by 0.5 per cent to 13.5 per cent and the Palmer United Party picked up 0.5 per cent to boost them to 1.5 per cent of the primary vote.
The government has embarked on a week of gaffes over house prices in Sydney, where the Treasurer Joe Hockey has been labelled “out of touch” by opponents.
Those aged 65+ have given their support to the government, at 56.5 per cent, but all other age brackets heavily favour Labor.
And the government’s attempts to take the lead on terrorism have resulted in a bruising debate over whether the Immigration Minister should have the right to snatch citizenship from those suspected of terrorism.
Pollster Gary Morgan said confidence in the government has slipped to its lowest level since the May budget was released, down 1.5 per cent to 98.5 per cent.
He has foreshadowed the chance of a leadership challenge when the parliament rises for the mid-winter break.
“The winter break will come as a welcome respite for Prime Minister Tony Abbott – assuming he avoids the mid-winter fate of Australia’s two most recent Prime Ministers, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard,” he said.
“Both were deposed from the top job in June.”
But the government’s hopes lie in the chance of “nailing” the Opposition Leader Bill Shorten over a deal he was allegedly involved with as head of the Australian Worker’s Union, Mr Morgan said.