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Canberra Today 2°/5° | Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Labor widens lead in polls

Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at last night’s “fractious” leaders debate. Photo: Facebook.

THE opposition has increased its winning margins in both Newspoll and the Australian Financial Review’s Ipsos poll, as Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese clashed in a shouty, fractious debate on Sunday night.

Michelle Grattan.

With pre-polling opening on Monday, Newspoll has Labor leading 54-46 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, compared to 53-47 per cent a week before.

Albanese has narrowed the gap as better PM – his rating has risen three points and Morrison has fallen a point. Morrison leads by a whisker – 44-42 per cent.

In the Ipsos poll, Labor leads the government 57-43 per cent, compared to 55-45 per cent a fortnight ago, and Albanese is ahead of Morrison as preferred PM 41-36 per cent, a three-point widening of the gap.

The poll results follow last Tuesday’s interest rate rise and Albanese’s stumble on Thursday when he was asked to name the six points of his NDIS policy.

The interest rate increase further elevated cost of living in the campaign, and this appears to have helped Labor, despite some hopes by the Coalition that having economic issues front and centre might be to its advantage.

The Nine debate – which will be followed on Wednesday by the final leaders’ debate, on the Seven network – was scored by more than 30,000 viewers and listeners as a draw.

The two clashed heatedly at several points especially after Albanese said, “When I was a minister, we put US marines into Darwin. When you have been a minister we have had the Port of Darwin sold to a company connected with the Chinese Communist
Party”. This brought a strong reaction from Morrison.

With wide ranging questions from a journalist panel and each other, Albanese dodged when asked why he would not investigate allegations the late senator Kimberley Kitching had been bullied, and again refused to admit he’d been caught out over his NDIS policy.

Pressed on why people questioned his honesty Morrison could only reply in terms of having disagreements with people from time to time.

Neither leader fell into any major hole. The level of assertiveness and aggression was notable, with the moderator, Sarah Abo, at times trying in vain to stop them talking over each other and her.

In Newspoll, conducted Wednesday to Saturday of 1523 voters and published in Monday’s Australian, Labor is up a point to 39 per cent on primary votes; the Coalition is on 35 per cent, down a point. The Greens are stable on 11 per cent.

Morrison’s satisfaction rating has dipped 3 points to 41 per cent; dissatisfaction with him has increased by four points to 55 per cent. His net satisfaction is minus 14.

Albanese’s satisfaction increased a point to 41 per cent and his dissatisfaction rating fell by two points to 47 per cent. He has a net rating of minus six.

In the Ipsos poll, the Coalition’s primary vote is down 3 points to 29 per cent; Labor’s primary vote is 35 per cent(up a point). The Greens are steady on 12 per cent.

This gives Labor a 52-40 per cent two-party lead with eight per cent undecided.

Taking out the undecideds puts Labor on 38 per cent primary vote, with the Coalition on 32 per cent. Labor then leads 57-43 per cent in two party terms, compared to 55-45 per cent a fortnight ago.

Morrison’s approval declined two points to 32 per cent; his disapproval increased 3 points to 51 per cent, for a net figure of minus 19. There was only minor change in Albanese’s approval figures. His approval was 30 per cent; his disapproval 36 per cent, and his net rating minus six.

The poll of 2311 was done Wednesday to Saturday.

Morrison sparked fresh controversy at the weekend when he said a re-elected Coalition would deal with religious discrimination legislation and protection for gay students “sequentially” rather than at the same time. He would not be pinned down on a timeline but given an inquiry by the Australian Law Reform Commission it could be a year or more between the two.

Morrison said Australians of faith were being discriminated against all the time. He said there was no evidence religious schools sought to expel students because they were gay.

Several Liberal backbenchers, including Trent Zimmerman and Katie Allen, who crossed the floor earlier this year to protect trans students, which led to Morrison abandoning the religious discrimination bill, indicated their position had not changed.The Conversation

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra. This article is republished from The Conversation.

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Michelle Grattan

Michelle Grattan

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