Scott Morrison has endured a difficult few weeks. Picture: AAP
Scott Morrison has endured a difficult few weeks. Picture: AAP

Newspoll: Scott Morrison takes a hit amid bushfires backlash

As Scott Morrison conceded he could have done things better in his handling of the bushfire crisis, voters have shown their frustration with his performance with the PM's personal approval ratings falling for the first time since the election.

The Coalition, however, has escaped the acrimony that has followed Mr Morrison, with primary support for the LNP holding steady, according to the latest Newspoll published in The Australian.

Mr Morrison suffered an eight-point drop in approval ratings since December and an 11 per cent increase in those unhappy with his performance.

 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen greeting troops during a visit to an army water purification station at Kingscote Jetty on Kangaroo Island. Picture: AAP
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seen greeting troops during a visit to an army water purification station at Kingscote Jetty on Kangaroo Island. Picture: AAP

The poll has thrown up the worst numbers for Mr Morrison since he took on the leadership in August 2018 and has put him equal with former Labor leader Bill Shorten at his most unpopular.

The poll also showed Labor leader Anthony Albanese going ahead of Mr Morrison as the preferred prime minster.

While the Coalition's primary vote dipped two points on the last poll to 40 per cent, it remains level with numbers recorded in early November and is higher than the Coalition's average for the past three years prior to the election.

Support for Labor has grown - rising from a low of 33 per cent to 36 per cent in the latest poll - and leaves the Coalition trailing for the first time since the election, with a six-point turnaround in the two-party-preferred split to put Labor ahead 51-49.

Mr Morrison accepted criticism of his decision to take a family holiday to Hawaii in early December, which he cut short as the bushfire crisis escalated.

Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese has gone ahead of Scott Morrison as the preferred PM. Picture: AAP
Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese has gone ahead of Scott Morrison as the preferred PM. Picture: AAP

"In hindsight, I would not have taken that trip knowing what I know now," Mr Morrison said in an interview on Sunday, acknowledging Australians wanted to see him "on the ground" during the crisis.

Last week, Mr Morrison also announced that at least $2 billion will be pumped into a national bushfire recovery fund over the next two years.

The fund will support local governments, farmers and primary producers, and deliver mental health supports to first responders.

Mr Morrison's approval rating fell eight points from 45 per cent to 37 per cent while those dissatisfied went up 11 points from 48 per cent to 59 per cent. The shift has given Mr Morrison a net negative rating of minus 22.

Mr Albanese's approval ratings rose from 40 per cent to 46 per cent, with those dissatisfied with his performance during the bushfire crisis falling from 41 per cent to 37 per cent, giving him a net positive ratings of plus nine.

 

 

Mr Albanese is also ahead of Mr Morrison as the preferred prime minister - 43 per cent to 39 per cent.

It shows a nine-point fall for the Liberal leader since the last poll conducted in early December before Mr Morrison went on holiday, and a nine-point improvement for Mr Albanese.

There was little change for the other minor parties, with the Greens improving a point to 12 per cent, One Nation falling a point to four per cent and other minor parties dropping a point to eight per cent.

 

- read more at The Australian