The Coalition is leading Labor for the first time in 16 months, since outgoing PM Tony Abbott was overthrown by Malcolm Turnbull, a new poll has revealed.
The latest Galaxy poll, published by News Corp on Friday, reported a small lead to the LNP, 51 points to Labor’s 49 on a two-party preferred basis.
In a troubling sign for Mr Shorten’s leadership, 51 per cent of all voters preferred Turnbull as PM, compared to 20 per cent for Mr Shorten.
Worse still, 27 per cent of Labor voters said they preferred Turnbull over Shorten, with a further 30 per cent uncommitted.
The poll of 1224 voters reported a three-point bounce for the Coalition’s primary vote since May, from 41 to 44 per cent.
To add salt to the wound, a ReachTEL-Seven Network phone poll, also conducted after Mr Turnbull’s ascension, revealed the 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.
On Thursday, Mr Shorten was fending off leadership questions from reporters.
“Frankly, if a drover’s dog had replaced Mr Abbott, there was going to be a lift in the polls,” he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday, mirroring a phrase Bill Hayden used in 1983 after he was toppled by Bob Hawke for the Labor leadership.
Labor MP Nick Champion told Sky News that the Liberals replacing Mr Abbott with Mr Turnbull was like “drinking a can of Coke after being bitten by a brown snake”.
– with AAP