27/08/2019. Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese speaking at a press conference today. Jane Dempster/The Australian.
27/08/2019. Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese speaking at a press conference today. Jane Dempster/The Australian.

Albanese slides as Morrison surges

Labor leader Anthony Albanese has experienced his first serious setback in voter support, according to the latest Newspoll reported exclusively by The Australian.

Mr Albanese's approval rating has taken a dip for the first time since he became Labor leader three months ago.

Mr Albanese's ­approval rating dropped six points to 35 per cent. Those dissatisfied with his performance spiked six points to 40 per cent, leaving him with a net negative approval rating of minus 5.

 

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has suffered a substantial dip in approval. Picture: AAP Image/Albert Perez
Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has suffered a substantial dip in approval. Picture: AAP Image/Albert Perez

The six-point slide in approval was possibly fuelled by the polarising debate over the case of a Tamil asylum-seeker family who are facing deportation.

The case of the Tamil family has dominated and divided political opinion over immigration, with Scott Morrison refusing to make an exception and stay their deportation.

Approval for Scott Morrison rose one point to 49 per cent, while those unhappy with his leadership fell three points to 39 per cent.

A Tamil family seeking asylum have divided the opinion of the electorate. Picture: Ten News
A Tamil family seeking asylum have divided the opinion of the electorate. Picture: Ten News

Popular support for both major parties is stronger than it was for the May 18 election.

The Coalition's primary vote rose one point over the last poll to 43 per cent. The party attained victory at the last election with 41.4 per cent of the vote.

Labor rose a point to 35 per cent, despite its poor economic figures released last week.

The two-party-preferred vote has stayed at 51-49 in favour of the Coalition.

The Greens and One Nation aside, support for independents and minor parties has dropped from 9 per cent to 5 per cent.

Support for One Nation has risen to 5 per cent. Support for the Greens rose one point to 12 per cent.

Scott Morrison is enjoying the widest margin of popularity for a federal leader since 2016. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Scott Morrison is enjoying the widest margin of popularity for a federal leader since 2016. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Mr Albanese's drop in popularity constitutes a 12-point reversal over the last poll since beginning his leadership.

The Labor leader now trails Mr Morrison by 20 points as the preferred prime minister.

Mr Morrison's lead is the widest margin experienced by a prime minister over an opposition leader since Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten in April 2016.

It comes as NSW Labor struggles with a corruption scandal and Mr Albanese faces a showdown with the government this week on legislation concerning social ­issues, the approach to which has split the Labor Party.

MORRISON CLOSE TO MAJOR VICTORY

It comes as Scott Morrison was heading towards a victory for his welfare and social reform agenda, which included expanding the cashless welfare card and drug tests for welfare benficiaries, with both bills likely to be passed after Jacqui Lambie confirmed her support.

Lambie's surprise move has left Labor leader Anthony Albanese pretty much isolated, facing divisions within the caucus over his decision to enforce a "no-vote" on both bills, reports The Australian.

Mr Morrison challenged Mr Albanese, accusing him of fronting a scandal-ridden party, while suggesting he back a sweeping legislative agenda including protection of workers'

­entitlements and mandatory sentencing for paedophiles.

Today, the government will place more pressure on the opposition to back laws to protect farmers from activists, named the "vegan terrorist bill", before putting up further laws to crack down on multinational tax avoidance.

Mr Albanese will also face increasing pressure over the "big stick" ­divestiture laws to clamp down on gutting energy companies, which Labor had previously opposed, with the Coalition vowing to bring that too to a vote within this sitting fortnight.

- with The Australian.