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Turnbull most popular PM in five years

Malcolm Turnbull
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Malcolm Turnbull has been crowned Australia’s most popular Prime Minister in more than five years, one week after he seized leadership, a new poll has revealed.

The latest Newspoll, conducted for The Australian, also showed the Federal Government recorded a significant five-point jump ahead of the Opposition.

The Coalition now has an election-winning lead over Labor, 51 per cent to 49 per cent, after preferences  – making it the government’s best result since April 2014.

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The poll showed that 55 per cent of voters rated Mr Turnbull as the preferred PM, giving him a 34-point lead over Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, on 21 per cent.

That was also 18 points greater than ousted PM Tony Abbott’s last poll one fortnight ago.

Before launching his challenge, Mr Turnbull made it clear that consistently poor Newspoll results was one of the factors that prompted his decision.

“We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row,” he said.

Bill Shorten continues to brush off Mr Turnbull's surge in popularity.
Bill Shorten continues to brush off Mr Turnbull’s surge in popularity. Photo: Getty

“It is clear that the people have made up their mind about Mr Abbott’s leadership.”

The Coalition’s primary vote was up five points to 44 per cent, while the primary vote for Labor is down four to 35 per cent on the previous poll.

The Greens’ primary vote had dropped slightly to 11 per cent, while those in the ‘others’ category remained unchanged at 10 per cent.

The margin of error for the poll, which surveyed 1,645 voters, was 3 per cent.

The poll was taken after Mr Turnbull rolled Mr Abbott in a Liberal Party leadership spill, 54 votes to 44, last Monday.

Mr Shorten, who appeared on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, downplayed Mr Turnbull’s sudden surge.

“Let me state at the outset that I will not be worried about Malcolm Turnbull replacing Tony Abbott,” he said.

“I think it is a good thing for this country that Tony Abbott is no longer PM of Australia.”

The survey follows a Galaxy poll last week that also recorded a 51-49 per cent Coalition lead over Labor, and a 51 per cent vote for Mr Turnbull as preferred Prime Minister.

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.

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