Scott Morrison’s hopes of surviving the next election as Prime Minister are flatlining, with Newspoll again predicting a landslide Labor victory.
After a dramatic final week of Parliament in which Mr Morrison pledged to lock himself in as Liberal leader if he wins the next election, and also accused a “cocky” Labor leader Bill Shorten of going soft on pedophiles and terrorists, the tough rhetoric is failing to translate into votes.
Support for the Coalition remains unchanged at 55:45 on a two party preferred basis.
The shocking poll result is the third consecutive poll that Labor leader Mr Shorten has maintained a crushing 10-point lead over the Coalition.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister moved to hose down speculation he could call an election for March. He has previously flagged a federal election on May 11 or May 18, after an April budget.
“That’s what I said. No change to my position,” the Prime Minister said.
But he remained adamant he would resist a push to allow doctors to determine when medical evacuations are required for children and families on Nauru.
“You cannot contract that out to two doctors on Skype,” he said.
As the PM ramps up the rhetoric over Labor and asylum seekers, Labor frontbencher Tony Burke also played down the prospect that Mr Shorten would abandon boat turnbacks if he wins the election.
It followed reports that the ALP will debate the issue at the ALP conference. The New Daily has previously reported Mr Shorten will announce an increase to the refugee intake as an olive branch to the Left of the party.
“Every national conference there are some delegates who push for this and every national conference there’s been a determination to make sure that we don’t adopt any policy that would start the drownings again and secondly to make sure that within that frame that we’re being decent to people as we can,” Mr Burke said.
“Now if you stop the turnbacks policy I don’t think there’s any doubt and certainly, all the advice I’ve seen would be that the drownings would commence again. I don’t mind that there are some delegates who have that view and they push it, but they haven’t been in the majority in the past and they won’t be in the majority this time.”
Newspoll also records a 1 per cent increase to the Coalition’s primary vote up to 35 per cent, but within the margin of error.
Labor’s primary vote also increased by 1 per cent to 41 per cent, with the Greens unchanged at 9 per cent and One Nation down 1 per cent to 7 per cent.
After bragging about his rating as preferred PM in Parliament, there was also more bad news for Mr Morrison on his approval rating, which was down 1 per cent to 42 per cent.
His disapproval rating jumped 3 per cent to 45 per cent of voters.
The Prime Minister is also down 2 per cent as preferred PM at 44 per cent, still beating Mr Shorten who was up 2 per cent to 36 per cent.
Disapproval levels for Mr Shorten also remain high however with a majority of voters – 51 per cent – not happy with the Labor leader.
It follows his controversial decision to roll over and pass the Coalition’s encryption legislation.
The Labor leader is expected to come under sustained pressure from concerned MPs to demand substantial amendments when Parliament resumes in February.