Bad news for PM: Popularity plummets

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    Scott Morrison’s approval rating has been smashed by voters amid a backlash led by Brittany Higgins, sexual abuse survivors, and women’s fight for justice. After a fortnight that included mass marches across Australia and revelations that male Liberal staffers had “orgies” and masturbated on desks at Parliament House, an exclusive Newspoll published in The Australian has delivered voters’ shock verdict.

    Voters’ satisfaction with the PM’s performance plunged by a stunning 7 points from 62 percent to 55 percent in the space of just two weeks. Mr. Morrison also suffered a four-point plunge as preferred PM. His rating now stands at 52 percent support as the preferred prime minister. Meanwhile, Mr. Albanese rose two points as preferred PM to a modest 32 percent.

    The horror fortnight that delivered the shock results included the mass marches, secret ‘orgies’ claims, and the revelations of taxpayer-funded ‘desk wankers’. It included the PM warning the media to “be careful” and accusing NewsCorp of pursuing an HR complaint about a female being “harassed in a toilet” only to be forced into an unqualified apology when he conceded the incident he described never happened.

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    However, in some good news for the Prime Minister, the most important indicator of voter support – the primary vote – lifted by one point to 40 percent. Support for Labor fell by one point to 38 percent. If an election was held now, the two-party preferred vote of 52-48 percent would deliver a Labor victory.

    The result is unchanged on the results of the previous Newspoll conducted a fortnight ago. Even at the PM’s beloved footy, there was some severe side-eye from sports scientist Tahleya Eggars who stood behind the PM with her arms crossed when he came into the dressing room.

    “I will not respect a man who has the time to shake hands of men who have won a football match but is ‘too busy’ to attend the #March4Justice”,” she wrote on Twitter. The Newspoll result was the first time Labor had hit the lead since the Prime Minister was rounded on by furious voters over his decision to secretly fly to Hawaii for a family holiday during the bushfires.

    However, the ALP’s primary vote remains dangerously low to win a majority of seats putting the party at the mercy of the Greens and independents if an election was held now. The number of voters who disapprove of the PM also increased by six points to 40 percent. Satisfaction with Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s performance was essentially unchanged at 43 percent.

    It’s only the second Newspoll since the Hawaii holiday debacle – when the PM declared “I don’t hold a hose, mate” – to deliver Labor a two-party-preferred Newspoll win. The poll was conducted between March 24-27 and surveyed 1517 voters online. The margin of error in the survey is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

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