Barnaby’s troubles wipe out Coalition’s poll gains

The latest Newspoll has seen the Coalition lose the gains it made over the past two months after a period of intense focus on deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

Feb 19, 2018, updated Feb 19, 2018
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his deputy  Barnaby Joyce during Question Time. Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his deputy Barnaby Joyce during Question Time. Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas

The latest Newspoll, published in The Australian newspaper, shows the Coalition’s primary vote has fallen two points to 36 per cent, one point behind Labor’s which remained unchanged.

The two-party-preferred vote has returned the Coalition to the position it held in December, trailing Labor 53 per cent to 47.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s personal approval ratings fell, dropping five points to 40 per cent, leaving only a seven-point margin between the Liberal leader and Labor leader Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister.

It was the 27th consecutive Newspoll loss for the Coalition since Malcolm Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott from the prime ministership, citing the respected poll as a key reason for change.

The poll also showed that a majority of Australians believe embattled Nationals leader Joyce should resign following his affair with a staffer.

Up to 65 per cent of voters across the country believe Joyce should resign with a third of those also believe he should quit federal parliament.

Newspoll quizzed 1632 voters across Australia including those in regional areas and cities for the findings released on Sunday.

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Of the voters who want Joyce gone, 29 per cent believe the New England MP should step down as the Nationals leader but remain on the backbench while 21 per cent believe he should step down and not recontest the next election.

A quarter of regional voters wanted to see Joyce resign from parliament immediately because of the scandal over his affair, which has also raised questions about whether he breached ministerial standards. Just 20 per cent of city voters want to see him go.

– with AAP


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