Labor leader Anthony Albanese has paid the price for a damaging opening week in the election campaign after voters cut their support for the opposition from 38 to 34 per cent while swinging back to Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister.
Primary support for the Coalition rose from 34 to 35 per cent, and Morrison made gains on his personal approval and performance on key issues including economic management and national security.
Voters have cut their support for Anthony Albanese after the first week of the campaign.Credit:
The first major survey of the campaign revealed a reversal of fortune for the two leaders, with Morrison leading Albanese as preferred prime minister by 38 to 30 per cent after the Labor leader held the advantage two weeks ago with a lead of 37 to 36 per cent.
But the survey, conducted by Resolve Strategic for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, also showed that 27 per cent of people eligible to vote at the May 21 election describe themselves as uncommitted, up from 21 per cent two weeks ago.
The findings in the Resolve Political Monitor signal the prospect of a hung Parliament, with support for Labor falling while support for the Coalition remains below the level of the last election at a time when voters have swung toward independent candidates who have 9 per cent of the national vote.
“Every trend has gone the Coalition’s way in this latest poll – vote, leadership, policy, performance – so the electorate is judging that the government won the first week of the campaign,” said Resolve director Jim Reed.
“The calling of the election has moved voters from judging the government’s term to a choice between the parties and particularly their leaders. It was incredibly damaging for Albanese to trip up on critical issues at precisely that point.”
Albanese admitted to making a mistake last Monday when he could not name the unemployment rate or the Reserve Bank cash rate, saying his approach as leader was to “own it” and suggesting Morrison did not take responsibility for his failures.
The Resolve Political Monitor confirms the cost to Labor after days of dispute about whether ordinary voters would put any weight on the mistake or would focus instead on key policy contests on health, education, childcare, security, the economy and a national integrity commission.
Asked about Morrison’s performance, 44 per cent of voters said he was doing a good job and 47 per cent said he was doing a poor job, resulting in a net performance rating of minus 3 points. This was a significant improvement on a net rating of minus 14 points two weeks ago.
Asked about Albanese, 35 per cent said he was doing a good job and 44 per cent said he was doing a poor job, producing a net rating of minus 9 points. This was a slump from his rating of minus 4 points two weeks ago.
While both leaders have negative ratings, Morrison has a better result in another reversal between the two leaders since the Resolve Political Monitor conducted in the week after the federal budget on March 29.
“Like the apocryphal tale of two hikers approached by a bear, Morrison only needs to outrun Albanese, not the bear,” Reed said.
“Voters don’t have to like the Prime Minister, they only need to dislike him less than the alternative.”
The Resolve Political Monitor surveyed 1404 eligible voters from Monday to Saturday over a period that included Morrison declining to commit to setting up a national integrity commission in the next term of Parliament while Albanese promised to pass laws to set up the watchdog this year.
The survey period also included a debate about transgender women, a Labor policy to spend $135 million on new health clinics, a pledge from Morrison to create 1.3 million jobs over five years and a Coalition policy to spend $219.5 million on the forestry sector.
The margin of error for the national results was 2.6 percentage points.
Because the Resolve Political Monitor asks voters to nominate their primary votes in the same way they would write “1” on the ballot papers for the lower house at the election, there is no undecided category in the results, a key difference with some other surveys. The survey puts the choices in a random order to each participant to avoid a “donkey vote” in the responses.
Support for the Greens was steady at 11 per cent and all other changes for minor parties and independents were within the margin of error.
Voters increased their support for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation from 2 to 4 per cent, although the change was less than 2 percentage points because the results are rounded to the nearest whole number. Support for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party rose from 3 to 4 per cent.
While independent candidates are taking on Liberals with high-profile campaigns in key city seats, support for independents nationwide was unchanged at 9 per cent. Support for “other” candidates rose from 3 to 4 per cent.
The Resolve survey published on April 5 found that Morrison had fallen behind Albanese as preferred prime minister for the first time since the Resolve Political Monitor began last April. Albanese led on this measure by 37 to 36 per cent, with 28 per cent undecided.
The new survey shows Morrison leads by 38 to 30 per cent with an increase in undecided voters to 32 per cent.
Jacqueline Maley cuts through the noise of the federal election campaign with news, views and expert analysis. Sign up to our Australia Votes 2022 newsletter here.
Most Viewed in Politics
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article