In the first Newspoll of the new year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s ratings have tanked as a result of his handling of the bushfire crisis.
The Newspoll, conducted January 8-11 from a sample of 1,500 people, gave Labor a 51-49 lead on a two-party preferred basis, a three point gain for Labor since the last Newspoll in early December.
Primary votes were 40% Coalition (down two points), 36% Labor (up three), 12% Greens (up one) and 4% One Nation (down one).
Morrison also suffered a drop in his job performance rating, with 37% saying they were satisfied, down eight points from early December, and 59% saying they were dissatisfied, up 11 points.
His net approval was -22, down 19 points since December. Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s net approval, meanwhile, improved ten points to +9.
Albanese also led Morrison 43-39 as preferred PM, a reversal of Morrison’s 48-34 lead in December. Apart from Morrison’s first Newspoll as PM following the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull in August 2018, this is the first time an opposition leader has led the incumbent PM on this measure since Tony Abbott was in office.
The bushfire crisis almost certainly explains the crash in Morrison’s ratings, but will this be sustained? As memories of a key event fade, people tend to move back to their previous positions.