Bad news for Bill Shorten: Coalition closes the gap on Labor in latest Newspoll – as support for billionaire Clive Palmer soars
- Labor is leading the two-party preferred vote 51 per cent to 49 per cent
- Both of the major parties have lost votes to Clive Palmer’s $50million campaign
- Result is a major improvement for the Coalition compared to March’s result
- Support for One Nation dropped to four per cent, Greens steady on nine per cent
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has narrowed the gap behind Bill Shorten in the latest Newspoll as support for controversial billionaire Clive Palmer soars.
Labor is leading the two-party preferred vote 51 per cent to 49 per cent ahead of the Coalition with three weeks to go until the federal election.
Both of the major parties have lost votes to Mr Palmer, whose extensive, $50million advertising campaign for the United Australia Party has resulted in five per cent of the primary vote.
The result is a marked improvement for the Coalition since March, when Mr Morrison’s government was down 54-46 on the same measure.
Labor (leader Bill Shorten pictured) is leading the two-party preferred vote 51 per cent to 49 per cent ahead of the Coalition with three weeks to go until the federal election
The result is a marked improvement for the Coalition since March, when Mr Morrison’s (pictured) government was down 54-46 on the same measure
The poll comes after the first two weeks of the election campaign in which Mr Morrison has campaigned heavily on the economy and attacking Labor’s tax plans.
But the coalition’s primary vote has dropped one point to 38 per cent, while Labor’s primary is down to 37 per cent.
PRIMARY VOTE NEWSPOLL
Coalition – 38 per cent
Labor – 37 per cent
Greens – 9 per cent
United Australia Party – 5 per cent
One Nation – 4 per cent
Source: The Australian
Support for One Nation has dropped to four per cent, while the Greens remain on nine per cent.
Labor has ruled out negotiating a preference deal with Mr Palmer after making informal approaches.
Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek played down Labor’s approach to Mr Palmer.
‘Look, I don’t think a couple of SMSs is what you’d call a formal negotiation,’ she told the ABC.
‘Bill [Shorten]’s made it very clear that we would never have had a formal arrangement with Clive Palmer while he owes his workers $70 million.’
Government minister Alan Tudge said if Mr Palmer does owe people money he should pay them.
‘That’s his business,’ he told Sky News.
But he skirted around the issue of the preference deal with Mr Palmer, saying what he wanted was for people to vote for the Liberal party or the Nationals party as their number one priority.
‘The contest is really between who you want to be in government, that’s where the contest is,’ Mr Tudge said.
‘There are only two choices here in terms of who will form government, it’s either the Liberal/National Party with Scott Morrison as prime minister or Bill Shorten as prime minister.’
Both of the major parties have lost votes to Mr Palmer (pictured), whose extensive, $50million advertising campaign for the United Australia Party has resulted in five per cent of the primary vote
Malcolm Turnbull needed a primary vote of 42 per cent to win a one-seat majority in 2016.
Despite the drop in primary vote, Newspoll calculates the Coalition has made up ground based on preference flows at recent federal and state elections.
The two-party preferred vote is now back to where it was before Mr Turnbull was forced out of the top job in August 2018.
Mr Shorten has climbed higher in the preferred prime minister stakes, jumping two points to 37 per cent, while Mr Morrison dropped one point to 45 per cent.
The Labor leader has only won one preferred prime minister poll, getting his best result immediately after Mr Turnbull went, before Mr Morrison overtook him.
The two leaders will conduct their first debate of the campaign on Monday night in Perth, before another debate in Brisbane on Friday.