PM under pressure
10 April, 2018, 12:00 am
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition government on Monday lost a 30th straight major opinion poll, a symbolic defeat that intensifies pressure on him after he used the same milestone to oust his predecessor.
The latest widely watched Newspoll, published in The Australian newspaper, showed the Liberal-National coalition trailing the opposition Labor Party 52-48 on a two-party preferred basis, a margin that would deliver Mr Turnbull an election defeat.
Although Australia is a year away from a general election, the Newspoll leaves Mr Turnbull facing questions about his future.
Three Australian prime ministers have been ousted by their own parties since 2010, dumped by colleagues after their popularity began to wane.
Once widely popular, Mr Turnbull has fallen out of favour after a wave of scandals, including the resignation of his former deputy after revelations he was expecting a child with his former press secretary, and an eligibility crisis that saw the government temporarily lose its parliamentary majority.
A surge by right-wing minor parties and factions of his own party has forced Mr Turnbull to embrace conservative policies, damaging his reputation as a liberal.
There was some good news for the embattled leader with a Fairfax/Ipsos poll published by The Australian Financial Review over the weekend showing that many Australians have grown weary of a revolving-door leadership.
Some 62 per cent of those surveyed said they wanted Mr Turnbull to remain prime minister.
Senior government lawmakers have also backed Mr Turnbull.
“Malcolm Turnbull retains the confidence of the vast majority of our party room,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, deputy leader of the Liberal Party, told Sky News.