Australian PM’s popularity falls: Newspoll

Canberra, March 8 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating fell to the lowest level, latest Newspoll survey revealed on Tuesday.

The poll presents people’s dissatisfaction with the prime minister at the highest level since he came to power in September 2015.

Just months before Australians are set to head to polls for a federal election, Newspoll said that the coalition government is deadlocked with the opposition 50-50 in the two-party preferred category, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile the opposition leader Bill Shorten’s popularity continues to rise, as Turnbull’s falls to its lowest levels since he took over from Tony Abbott in September.

The results of the poll come despite positive economic growth figures and last week’s widely-approved Defence White Paper.

Over 1,815 people widely signalled dissatisfaction with the government’s hesitation on its taxation policy, and the divisions currently plaguing the coalition parties.

Satisfaction with Turnbull’s performance as prime minister has fallen four points in the past fortnight, but 16 points since the first Newspoll after he took power.

Despite the falls, however, Turnbull is still the preferred prime minister, holding a 55-21 lead over Shorten.

Shorten said he would continue to gain voter popularity as the “civil war going on in the Liberal Party” would continue to result in “great division, dysfunction and chaos.”

The prime minister has previously indicated that Australians would be heading to the polls in August or September.

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