Newspoll shows Labor ahead, Shorten and Turnbull level pegging in net satisfaction

Voter dissatisfaction with Malcolm Turnbull has risen to 50% in the latest Newspoll. Lukas Coch/AAP

Labor has retained its 51-49% lead over the government in the latest Newspoll, which shows Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten now level in their net satisfaction ratings.

Going into the third week of the eight-week campaign, both Turnbull and Shorten are on net satisfaction levels of minus 12. Shorten’s net rating has improved seven points in the past fortnight. Turnbull was on minus 11 two weeks ago.

The two-party vote represents a swing against the government of 4.5% which, if reflected at the election on a uniform basis, would narrowly install a Shorten government.

While Coalition sources at the weekend claimed its economic plan was going across well in the marginal seats, the national poll results will be a worry for the government. They suggest that Shorten is increasingly credible with voters, who have become over the months disillusioned with Turnbull.

For the first time 50% of voters are dissatisfied with Turnbull; only 38% are satisfied with his performance. Shorten’s dissatisfaction is at 49%; his satisfaction rating is 37%.

The poll, taken from Thursday, came in a week when the Coalition ramped up its attack on Labor over border protection, and Labor released a big spending health initiative to scrap the freeze on Medicate rebates – a move it said would protect bulk billing.

Last week also saw Labor MP David Feeney admit he had not listed a A$2.3 million house he owns on his register of interests, and a police raid on the Melbourne office of deputy Labor leader in the Senate Stephen Conroy in relation to the leak of NBN Co documents. The controversy over the raid enabled Labor to focus some attention on Turnbull’s handling of NBN Co when communications minister.

In Newspoll, Turnbull leads Shorten as better prime minister 46-31%. But Turnbull’s lead has reduced from 39 points in mid-November to 15 points now.

The Coalition is steady on 41% primary vote; Labor is a point down to 36%, and the Greens remain on 11%. Other parties and independents have risen a point to 12%.

The poll of 1709 found 44% believed the government would win the election. In mid-March 55% were predicting a Coalition win.

A Fairfax-Ipsos poll taken last week and published on Saturday had the Coalition with a 51-49% two-party lead. This poll also showed no movement in the two-party vote.

Meanwhile Turnbull and influential Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones have reached a truce that will see Turnbull go on Jones’ 2GB program this week. Turnbull has had a long-standing boycott of Jones, who previously hectored him on air and told him he would never be prime minister.

Jones has a wide and influential reach in NSW and Queensland. The two re-established relations over a lunch. “I had a very good discussion with him, I’m looking forward to appearing on his radio program,” Turnbull said at the weekend.

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