Satisfaction for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has fallen into negative territory for the first time in his six-month tenure, a new poll reveals.
Mr Turnbull’s net satisfaction – the difference between those satisfied with him and those who aren’t – sits at negative five according to the latest Newspoll, exclusively published in the The Australian newspaper on Monday.
After the PM’s Senate voting reforms were successfully passed after a marathon 40 hour debate last week, Mr Turnbull is weighing up whether to call an early double dissolution election in July or wait.
If he were to call an early election, the Newspoll figures suggest the Coalition will remain in government, with 51 per cent of the two-party preferred vote compared with Labor’s 49 per cent.
Even more promising for the government, 55 per cent of voters surveyed believed the Coalition would remain in power if an election was called, compared with 25 per cent for Labor.
Despite Mr Turnbull’s dip in popularity, he has no competitors within sight, with Bill Shorten trailing behind on 21 per cent compared to the PM’s 52.
Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten have lost voter confidence in their ability to handle tax reform, with trust in the Prime Minister falling three points to 45 per cent and Mr Shorten’s dropping one point to 25 per cent.
Of the 2049 voters surveyed, the majority also trusted Mr Turnbull over Mr Shorten when it came to leading Australia’s economy.
After a happy honeymoon period with the Australian public, Mr Turnbull’s approval rating has been in steady decline since December, amid accusations he has failed to deliver any substantial reform.
Cabinet Minister Greg Hunt played down the bad numbers on Sky News on Monday morning, saying “we’re actually very calm and focussed”.
“It’s a very clear choice … I think Australians will see that,” Mr Hunt said.