The government has opened a decisive 53-47% two-party lead in the Fairfax-Ipsos poll, with two-thirds of voters opting for Malcolm Turnbull as preferred prime minister.
Turnbull also has commanding margins over Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on all positive attributes of leadership, including competence and being trustworthy.
Turnbull has a net approval of plus 51, compared with Shorten’s minus 24. The poll of 1403 was taken Thursday to Saturday.
Starting on Wednesday, Labor mounted an attack on Turnbull for having money in managed funds in the Cayman Islands, which was generally thought to have backfired.
The Ipsos poll wipes out the opposition’s line of the past week when it was stressing that in the latest Newspoll the two sides were on 50-50.
Ipsos found a seven point increase in the Coalition two-party vote since August, which was before the leadership change. This represents a swing against the government of only 0.5% since Tony Abbott’s strong election win in 2013.
The Coalition’s primary vote was up seven points since August to 45% , while Labor had fallen six points to 30%. The Greens fell two points to 14%.
Labor has plummeted in Victoria – which has been a bastion for it – from 37% to 28% since August.
Turnbull’s approval is 68%; his disapproval is 17%. Shorten is on 32% approval, down seven points since August, and 56% disapproval, up seven points.
Turnbull leads Shorten 67-21% as preferred prime minister. Shorten’s rating as preferred prime minister has tumbled 24% now that he is up against Turnbull.
Turnbull has a statistically significant lead over Shorten on ten positive attributes. The results are: competent (Turnbull 83%, Shorten 51%); has a firm grasp of economic policy (80-39%); open to ideas (75-58%); strong leader (75-30%); has the ability to make things happen (74-33%); has a clear vision for Australia’s future (70-37%); has the confidence of his party (67-58%); has a firm grasp of foreign policy (65-36%); has a firm grasp of social policy (60-55%); and trustworthy (58-36%).
On the negative attribute of “easily influenced by minority groups”, Shorten led Turnbull 51-27%.
Turnbull’s ratings for all but one of the attributes have gone up since February, when they were last measured. The exception is his grasp of social policy, where he has fallen four points to 60%. On being a strong leader, he has risen from 60% to 75%; on having a clear vision for Australia’s future he went from 58% to 70%. He is up 18 points on having the ability to make things happen.
Turnbull’s rating on the negative attribute of being easily influenced by minority groups increased from 23% to 27%.
Shorten is generally less positively rated than when last measured, which was July. On most attributes his ratings are relatively static or slightly lower. He is down ten points on being open to ideas and up five points on easily influenced by minority groups. He is up two points on having the confidence of his party.
The poll also found majority support for the China-Australia free trade agreement – 54% back it and 33% oppose it. The government and opposition are negotiating on some associated labour market conditions that Labor has called for.