Australian PM Approval Continues to Rise as By-Election Enters Final Days

June 29, 2020 Updated: June 30, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating has climbed higher as the Coalition government continues to hold a slim lead over the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in the latest Newspoll figures released by The Australian on June 28.

According to the poll Morrison has continued to make gains as the preferred prime minister, increasing his numbers on June 8 by 2 percentage points to 58 percent on June 28.

News Corp’s The Australian newspaper reported on June 29 that additional figures indicated Morrison’s personal approval rating has also increased by 2 points to 68 percent in the last 20 days since the previous Newspoll conducted on June 8.

The increase in Morrison’s approval rating has not provided any gains for the Coalition in terms of preferential voting.

Newspoll noted that the Coalition has continued to hold a steady 2 point lead over the ALP, retaining 42 percent of the polled primary vote and maintaining 51 to 49 percent lead over the ALP in the two-party preferred vote.

ALP leader Anthony Albanese’s approval rating has continued to hold steady at 26 percent. However, the ALP has not seen an adverse effect from the recent branch-stacking scandal and the ASIO investigation into NSW state Labor representative Shaoquett Moselmane.

Newspoll figures show an increase of 1 percentage point to 35 percent in primary voting preferences towards the ALP.

Eden-Monaro By-Election Comes Down to Preferences

The Newspoll results come as the Eden-Monaro by-election enters its final week of campaigning. One of the hardest-hit regions by the Black Summer bushfires that destroyed much of New South Wales South Coast region.

Eden-Monaro is regarded as a bellwether seat in Australia and was won by ALP member Mike Kelly by a narrow margin in the 2019 election.

Kelly barely overcame Liberal Party candidate Fiona Kotvojs, winning 50.85 percent of the vote after preferences were distributed.

However, this time Coalition members believe that will change as The Australian reported on June 29 that National Party internal polling indicated National Party candidate Trevor Hicks has increased his share of votes.

The National Party usually gives its preferences to the Liberal Party with which they have a national political coalition—the Liberal National Party. Analysis by The Australian revealed that if the National Party had received more votes, Kotvojs would have won the marginal NSW seat instead of Kelly.

The National Party team behind Hicks told The Australian on June 29 that support in the region has doubled in the past two weeks, as Hicks has received increasing support for his push for a royal commission into the dairy industry.

According to the National Party internal poll, Hicks has increased his vote from 6 percent a fortnight ago to 11.5 percent on June 25.

The National Party poll also indicated that the ALP vote had fallen from 36 percent to 29.3 percent while the LNP vote had dropped from 36 percent to 34.3 percent.