Labor gleeful with deadheat poll result
Federal Labor has seized on the latest Newspoll showing both major parties dead level, saying it shows the Turnbull government is in absolute chaos.
Labor senator Sam Dastyari says the gloss has come off the prime minister.
“The reality is the honeymoon is over for Malcolm Turnbull,” he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
The poll, published in The Australian, shows the coalition and Labor tied at 50 per cent after preferences, a sharp drop for the government.
Malcolm Turnbull remains preferred prime minister with a 55-21 per cent lead over Bill Shorten.
Mr Turnbull’s satisfaction rating with voters remains in the positive (plus 10), but is significantly down on his plus 38 point high in November.
Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm says the result is a consequence of the government being reluctant to wheel out policies.
“Labor is beating them to the punch and they are paying a political price for that,” he told reporters.
“Their chief salesman … Malcolm Turnbull has been missing in action, we’ve barely seen him.”
Labor senator Doug Cameron says voters are seeing through the government.
“We’ve got a prime minister who is weak-kneed and won’t make decisions,” Senator Cameron told reporters.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash says the polls always narrow in an election year.
“This is not unexpected,” she told ABC radio.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton concedes the government has a lot of work to do.
“The prospect of Bill Shorten leading the country is now in play,” he told reporters.
Senior Labor MP Tony Burke says the poll result shows voters realise Mr Turnbull is continuing with Abbott government policy.
“The only thing that has changed is Malcolm Turnbull himself,” he said.
“He picks up the old Tony Abbott notebook and just starts reading Tony Abbott’s old lines – that’s all he has got.”