The latest Newspoll, conducted for The Australian by Galaxy Research has seen the Turnbull government fall behind Labor for the 18th consecutive Newspoll with the Coalition on 46 per cent and Labor on 54 per cent in two-party preferred terms.
This is a swing of over four per cent against the Coalition government since the last election.
According to the Galaxy poll Labor secured their highest primary vote of 38 per cent which would see Labor gain 20 seats if the poll is accurate and an election held tomorrow.
The government’s primary vote has fallen from 36 to 35 per cent in two weeks with Malcolm Turnbull losing ground to Bill Shorten in his standing with Australian voters, though Turnbull has held the lead as preferred prime minister with Turnbull’s personal standing at 43 per cent to Shorten’s 33 per cent.
Labor’s primary vote reached 38 per cent last November.
The Greens fell from 11 per cent to nine per cent support, helping add to Labor’s primary vote by two per cent.
The poll comes at a tough time for the Coalition with same-sex marriage, climate change and the dual citizenship fiasco dominating both parliament and media agenda.
The dual citizenship fiasco began on July 14 with Senator Scott Ludlam (Greens, WA) discovering he is also a citizen of New Zealand and Senator Larissa Waters (Greens, QLD) also a citizen of Canada. Both resigned from parliament.
Following the Liberal Party’s attack on the Greens “for not doing their due diligence,” it was revealed on 25 July that Coalition MP Matt Canavan (Liberal) is a dual citizen of Italy who resigned from the cabinet but remains in the Senate.
On August 9, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts was referred to the High Court by party leader Pauline Hanson following a discovery that Roberts was born in 1955 in to a Welsh father and Australian mother.
On August 14 National Party leader and Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce discovered he was also a citizen of New Zealand as his father was born there.
Deputy Leader of the National Party, Senator Fiona Nash referred herself to the High Court after discovering on 17 August she is dual-British citizen by descent as her father was born in Scotland.
The latest – but perhaps not the last – politician to discover they too are a dual citizen is Nick Xenophon who discovered on 18 August that his father was born in Cyprus, and despite renouncing his Cypriot citizenship as Cyprus was a British colony until 1960 Xenophon also holds British citizenship by descent.
The High Court will decide if they have breached Section 44 (a) of the Constitution having failed to renounce their dual citizenship.
“Australians want to see this government focusing on them, and not on these legal and political games,” said Shorten at a press conference in Melbourne on Sunday (20 August).
Turnbull’s net satisfaction rating fell from negative 12 to negative 20 percentage points, though Shorten’s rating also fell from minus 15 to minus 20 percentage points, leaving both party leaders with same dissatisfaction rating.
1675 respondents were surveyed from last Thursday (17 August) to Sunday (20 August) with an 2.4 per cent error margin.
If the survey results were repeated at an election the Coalition would lose eight seats in Queensland, four in Victoria, four in New South Wales, three in Western Australia and one in South Australia.
Despite dropping from 46 to 43 per cent Turnbull keeps the lead as preferred prime minister with Shorten gaining two percent, from 31 to 33 per cent.
Voters who haven’t committed to either major party increased by one per cent from 23 to 24 per cent.