AS the campaign enters its last days, Newspoll in the Australian shows Labor maintaining its 51-49 per cent lead, while Bill Shorten has closed in on Scott Morrison as better prime minister.
Shorten’s approval has also improved compared to a week ago, in a poll that has both sides increasing their primary votes by one point. The Coalition is now on 39 per cent and the ALP 37 per cent.
The opposition leader’s lift in personal ratings follows his emotional comments after the Daily Telegraph accused him of omitting a key part of his late mother’s story in an account of her career. The Telegraph’s report was widely condemned, and the Shorten response was seen as “humanising” him.
Labor also released its full costings at the end of last week, showing it would have bigger surpluses than the Coalition.
The election is complicated by the apparent lumpiness of the vote, with seats expected to change hands in both directions.
While Scott Morrison retains a clear lead as better prime minister, Shorten has cut this back to seven points. Shorten improved his rating by three points to 38 per cent; Morrison fell a point to 45 per cent.
Shorten had the best result in terms of net satisfaction since March 2015, the Australian reports. His satisfaction rating rose three points to 39 per cent; his dissatisfaction number fell four points to 49 per cent, for a net approval of minus 10.
Morrison had an equal number of people satisfied and dissatisfied with his performance. This is little changed from the week before when he was on minus one.
The Greens remained on 9 per cent. One Nation (down a point) and Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party are level pegging on 4 per cent each.
The poll was done Thursday to Saturday, of 1644 voters.