Australian voters believe Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is better than Labor leader Bill Shorten at dealing with all but one key policy area facing the federal government.
In a Newspoll reported by The Australian on Tuesday, Mr Turnbull was comprehensively rated the more capable leader, despite Monday’s Newspoll which had the Coalition and Labor party tied on the two-party preferred measure.
The Prime Minister’s biggest lead over Mr Shorten was the economy. A clear majority of 58 per cent of voters thought the PM more capable at economic management than his foe.
The PM also led Mr Shorten in the areas of national security (34 per cent), climate (28 per cent), education (4 per cent) and health (1 per cent margin).
Voters were asked: “Which of Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten do you think is more capable of handling the following?”
The results on health and education were alarming for Mr Shorten, given those were two areas where Labor leaders have traditionally been considered stronger. Mr Turnbull is the first Liberal leader in a decade to be considered more capable in those areas.
Mr Shorten only led on industrial relations, by 1 per cent.
The PM also won out on questions of personality. He was considered more likeable and more decisive than Mr Shorten, both with a 23 per cent margin.
However, Mr Turnbull was voted more arrogant than Mr Shorten by a 6 per cent margin.
The poll of 1807 voters was taken from February 18 to 21, and used the same sample group who voted Labor and the Coalition at neck-and-neck in the two-party preferred question.
Tax reform remained a strong area for Mr Turnbull, who led Mr Shorten 48 per cent to 26 per cent.
That’s despite the Coalitions indecisive handling of the issue over the past few months, including its retreat from GST changes.
This was compared with Labor’s well-received proposed changes to negative gearing.
Under Mr Turnbull the Coalition had not made any significant announcements seen as his own on climate change, education and health, however he still enjoyed a lead in these areas of Mr Shorten.