New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already gone some way to justifying his colleagues’ decision to dump Tony Abbott, giving the Liberals a poll bounce.
One reason given by Mr Turnbull for mounting the challenge was poor polling, with the coalition trailing Labor in 30 consecutive Newspolls.
The first poll conducted since Mr Turnbull’s ascension on Monday night placed the coalition 50-50 with Labor on the two-party preferred vote.
Previously Labor held an election-winning lead of 53-47.
The ReachTEL-Seven Network phone poll quizzed 3278 people across the nation on Wednesday night.
Primary support for the Liberals rose from 36.5 per cent on August 28 to 39.3 per cent — up almost three points — while support for Labor fell from 37.5 per cent to 35.9 per cent.
Mr Turnbull is still thinking about his ministerial line-up, likely to be announced by Monday.
Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos said regaining the trust of voters was a key job for Mr Turnbull in the wake of Tony Abbott’s ousting.
Mr Sinodinos is expected to return to the ministry under the new leader who he strongly backed.
“What we want is boring, competent predictable government,” he told Sky News.
Senator Sinodinos said he expected Mr Turnbull would soon turn his attention to tax reform, including superannuation and the GST, to come up with a coherent package to take to the next election.
For Labor, the change away from the unpopular Tony Abbott isn’t good news.
Former Labor senator John Black said Labor appeared to have made the basic mistake of assuming that the coalition would run right through to the next election with their weakest possible leader instead of their strongest.
“What a miscalculation that’s turned out to be,” he told ABC television.
“The Liberal Party wasn’t stuck with Abbott but the Labor Party may well be stuck with Shorten.”
Labor will face growing pressure over its opposition to the China-Australia free trade agreement.
Trade minister Andrew Robb said dozens of organisations, including major business groups, were coming out against Labor’s stance.
“It is the best agreement either country has done with any other country,” he told ABC television.
“So we are in a very privileged position. The opportunities are enormous and Labor is just snubbing their nose at this and they will pay a big price.”