PM Morrison and Coalition suffer massive slump in polls ahead of federal election

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has taken a huge hit in the polls ahead of the looming federal election.

Australians appear to have turned their backs on the Coalition after a shocking summer marked by the Omicron outbreak, COVID-19 restrictions and a rapid antigen test shortage.

In the first Newspoll for the year, support for the Liberal-Nationals has dropped two points to 34 per cent, which is the lowest since the 2018 leadership spill, while Labor’s primary vote rose three points to 41 per cent

Labor has a winning margin of 56-44 on a two-party-preferred basis, according to Newspoll.

The numbers suggest Labor would win with a majority if a general election was held today, with the potential for a catastrophic loss of up to 25 seats for the Coalition.

In more bad news for the government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s net satisfaction rating plummeted 11 points to -19 while Labor Leader Anthony Albanese’s rose out of negative figures to zero.

Mr Albanese has also narrowed the gap between his rival for preferred prime minister to just 43-41 in favour of Mr Morrison, from 45-36 at the last poll.

For the first time, more voters surveyed thought Labor was better placed to steer Australia out of the COVID-19 pandemic (33 per cent) compared with the coalition (32 per cent).

The survey of 1526 voters indicated a lift to the Greens’ primary vote of one point to 11 per cent while One Nation stayed steady on three per cent.

Support for the independents and minor parties slipped two points to 11 per cent, according to the poll, which was conducted online between January 25 and 28.

Responding to the poll, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said an election loss would be be a “big problem” for many Australians.

“If you believe the polls, we’re heading towards a Green-Labor government which would be a big problem for so many areas.”

Mr Joyce warned that “new restrictions will inevitably come in” as “the Greens are going to bargain for what the Labor party has to do for them to get their vote.”

“It’s been a pandemic and pandemics make things tough, but our unemployment rate is one of the lowest it’s ever been, it’s going to go below 4 per cent,” he added.

“We’ve come out of this with basically a better economic position that so many other parts of the world.

“We’ve got economic growth with low unemployment, this is a sign of good economic management and we want to continue that on.”

Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon said his party was buoyed by the poll bump, but weren’t getting ahead of themselves.

“It’s a big lead, but we are a long way yet off an election. A week is a long time in politics these days and four months is an eternity,” he said.

“The fact is that people are very angry with Scott Morrison and his government. They are still struggling, they don’t have the freedoms they were promised by now and all they hear is more complacent spin from the prime minister.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the poll plunge shows that “many people continue to do it tough.”

“It’s been a very terrible two years really for so many people and a very challenging summer that has been disrupted,” he said on Monday.

But Mr Frydenberg still has hope the Morrison Government will be returned.

“There is in only one poll in politics that counts and that is on election day,” he said.

“Many people predicted falsely and wrongly that the Coalition was going to lose the last election and they were proven to be wrong.”While Scott Morrison could call an election in the first quarter of this year, political commentators say recent poll results would motivate him to to stretch it out to give himself time to rebuild support.

That means Australians are likely to go to the polls in May.