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Australia’s PM Struggles to Win Over Voters as Electi...

Newsdeck

Scott Morrison on rocky polls

Australia’s PM Struggles to Win Over Voters as Election Nears

epa09470853 Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) and US President Joe Biden attend a joint press conference via audio visual link (AVL) from The Blue Room at Parliament House in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, 16 September 2021. Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States agreed to the creation of a trilateral security partnership to be known as AUKUS. EPA-EFE/MICK TSIKAS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT
By Bloomberg
14 Feb 2022 0

(Bloomberg) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing a major defeat at an election due within months, according to a survey by highly-respected Newspoll, with his conservative government trailing the centre-left Labor Party 45% to 55% after a chaotic week in parliament.

By Ben Westcott

Word Count: 316
The result is only a minor improvement for the government compared with a January Newspoll, which saw it trailing 44% to 56% in its worst result in more than three years. The new poll was conducted between Feb. 9 and 12 and published in The Australian newspaper on Monday.If the survey was replicated across the country at the next election, Morrison would be swept from office with a loss of 21 seats, according to The Australian.

Australia’s center-right government has struggled to turn voters’ attention to positive economic news after a summer of rapidly rising Covid-19 cases and supply-chain bottlenecks, which resulted in empty shelves in supermarkets across the country.

Whistle-Blowers Slam Australia Leaders for Handling of Sex Abuse

More chaos emerged last week when Australia’s parliament sat for the first time in 2022. The government was forced to put its signature anti-religious discrimination law on hold, following a late-night parliamentary sitting where five of its lawmakers voted for opposition amendments that protected LGBTQ students from being expelled from religious schools.

There was some minor good news for the government in Monday’s Newspoll result, with a slight rise in Morrison’s approval rating, although he still trails opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

The prime minister’s net approval rating is now -16, while Albanese’s has dropped to -6. Morrison must call an election before the end of May under Australian law.

Still, Morrison will take some heart from his surprise election win in 2019. His prospects then were largely written off amid a flurry of controversy and poor polling, only to see the Australian leader pull off a narrow victory.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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