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Newspoll: PM Scott Morrison’s popularity plunges

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is fighting for political life with popular support plunging to the lowest levels since 2018.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government is fighting for political life according to Newspoll with popular support plunging to the lowest levels since the 2018 leadership change.

After a horror summer marked by rising Omicron cases, hundreds of deaths and fury over a shortage of rapid antigen tests, voters have turned on the government with a sharp drop in support.

In the first Newspoll of 2022, support for the Prime Minister has been smashed with the combined Liberal-Nationals primary vote falling two points to 34 per cent.

On a two-party-preferred basis, Newspoll delivers Labor a winning margin of 56-44 – the largest margin for the opposition since the leadership change in September 2018.

Labor would wipe-out the Morrison Government’s majority if those results are replicated at the election with the potential loss of up to 25 seats and a landslide victory.

This is the worst Newspoll result for the Liberal Party since September 2018 and is worse than previous plunges in support after revelations of his secret Hawaii holiday during the 2019 bushfires, Brittany Higgins allegations in 2021 and anger over the vaccine rollout.

The Prime Minister is expected to hold an election in May. While March remains an option, today’s Newspoll is unlikely to prompt the PM to go to the polls anytime soon.

According to Newspoll, Labor’s primary vote lifted three points to 41 per cent, it’s highest result since 2018.

For the first time, the Coalition is also behind Labor on the question of which party is deemed better at leading Australia’s recovery out of Covid-19.

The Greens secured 11 per cent of primary votes while Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party remained largely unchanged on 3 per cent.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said on Sunday that small businesses were suffering from a “void of national leadership” over Omicron.

“It says it all about the treasurer and how out of touch he is, the fact that he doesn’t seem to understand how tough small business is do doing at the moment,” Mr Albanese said.

“What you’ve had from this government is a ‘let it rip’ approach when it comes to the market delivering and the market hasn’t delivered.”

It followed complaints by the NSW Liberal treasurer, Matt Kean, who he was “very disappointed” that the federal government had declined offer more support for small business.

“In their absence we’re having to step up to the plate and do our bit to preserve those businesses and help our national economy,” Kean told the Nine Network.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese is also closing the gap on Mr Morrison as preferred prime minister, with just two points now separating them.

Traditionally, an opposition leader rarely beats the incumbent Prime Minister on this question but a changeover is sometimes seen on the eve of an election where the government changes hands.

The Prime Minister’s net satisfaction ratings have fallen 11 points to minus 19, his worst ranking since February 2020 revelations of his secret Hawaii holiday while the nation burned.

The Newspoll survey, commissioned by The Australian newspaper, was conducted on January 25-28, with 1526 voters throughout Australia interviewed online.

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