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Neck and neck: Albanese, Morrison even in poll for preferred prime minister

Labor leader Anthony Albanese is now on par with Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister with the latest Newspoll revealing that voters remain discontented with the federal government.

Mar 14, 2022, updated Mar 14, 2022
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and prime Minister Scott Morrison are neck and neck in the polls. (Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and prime Minister Scott Morrison are neck and neck in the polls. (Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Labor continues to lead the two-party preferred vote 55 to 45 per cent against the coalition, and leads on the primary vote 41 to 35 per cent.

Both leaders are now level as preferred prime minister on 42 per cent after Mr Albanese increased two points, with 16 per cent remaining uncommitted ahead of the upcoming federal election, expected in May.

But the prime minister is becoming less popular, with his approval rating dropping two points to 41 per cent, while maintaining a disapproval rating of 55 per cent.

This is compared with 44 per cent for Mr Albanese’s approval rating, and 42 per cent disapproval rating.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce was nonchalant about the poll, saying Australia is going through “precarious times”.

“The Australian people have to make a choice of who is more likely to make the nation as strong as possible as quickly as possible,” he told the Seven Network.

Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan says Australians are starting to regain confidence about being able to travel again and live freely.

“People are starting to realise although it has been tough over the last two years, Australia has done remarkably well,” he told the ABC.

“One of the other things I am picking up is the leader of the opposition is a complete unknown out amongst the general populace.”

The prime minister is desperately trying to make up the ground, visiting a manufacturing facility in Wyong, along the NSW central coast, on Monday.

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The plant is in the seat of Dobell – held by Labor on a slim 1.5 per cent margin – where the Liberals recently announced cardiologist Dr Michael Feneley would be their candidate.

Mr Morrison is also expected to campaign later this week in the newly-reopened Western Australia, where the government is at risk of losing several seats.

Meanwhile, Albanese is hitting the hustings in Townsville on Monday, touring the port with his infrastructure spokeswoman and candidate for Herbert, which is held by the LNP on an 8.4 per cent margin.

Labor has been campaigning hard on the cost of living with soaring petrol prices hitting household hip pockets.

The government remains under pressure to cut the 44 cents a litre fuel excise to ease pressure at the bowser with petrol prices sitting around $2.20 a litre.

Relief could be announced in the budget due to be delivered on March 29.

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