The Turnbull government has continued its slide, with yet another poll showing it losing ground to Labor.
The latest Newspoll shows the Coalition trailing Labor 47 to 53 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.
But the Coalition’s primary vote has slipped from 36 to 35 per cent since the last survey three weeks ago, taking it back to the level seen in early 2015 when Tony Abbott faced an “empty chair” spill against his leadership.
Meanwhile, a senior Cabinet minister has conceded the Coalition has quite a bit of work to do to be competitive at the next federal election.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann noted that the government’s two-party position hadn’t changed.
“We’ve obviously got quite a bit more work to do to put ourselves in a position where we will be competitive for the next election and we will do that,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
But Senator Cormann argued that after the fortnight the Coalition has just experienced, he thought Bill Shorten should be concerned he didn’t make more progress.
Mr Shorten has narrowed the preferred-prime minister gap to eight percentage points after weeks of Liberal party infighting.
But Mr Turnbull still remains the favourite on 41 per cent with the Opposition Leader sitting on 33 per cent.
The results follow a recent campaign for policy change from Mr Abbott, which has seemingly destabilised the Liberal party in the eyes of voters.
At least one government backbencher, former Abbott backer Michelle Landry, is urging the former prime minister to move on and accept the role as Australia’s High Commissioner to London.
“There’s been talk about the job offer in London. There’s life after politics. He’s got a lot of knowledge. He has a lot to offer,” she told The Courier Mail.
Ms Landry only narrowly retained her seat of Capricornia, based on Rockhampton, at last year’s election and later described the Turnbull government as “wishy-washy”.