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Latest Newspoll: Coalition edges closer, but still behind

Luke Grant
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Political momentum appears to have been monopolised by the Coalition this week, with yesterday’s Newspoll suggesting some serious gains for the government.

The Coalition is edging incrementally closer to the Labor Party on a two-party-preferred basis, trailing 51-49. Meanwhile, approval for Bill Shorten has slumped to its equal-lowest level in more than a year, after he backed down on a “captain’s call” to repeal already legislated company tax cuts.

The Australian’s Dennis Shanahan says that while the Coalition’s gains are obvious, the real test will be the Super Saturday by-elections.

“What we’ve seen is that the government was expecting very early on to be able to regain Mayo from Rebekha Sharkie,” Shanahan explains.

“It doesn’t look like that is going to happen. They’re certainly not going to win Perth or Fremantle, because they’re not contesting. So it all comes down to Longman and Braddon.”

“If Bill Shorten loses both, he is in big trouble. If he loses one, he might be able to talk his way out of it. If he wins them both, he can spin it back onto the government and say how this was a referendum on their tax changes.”

Shanahan suspects Turnbull won’t want an election before the end of the year. It is thought a good by-election result may change his mind.

“If they win Braddon and Longman and it gets to 50-50 on Newspoll, the pressure on Malcolm Turnbull from the backbench will be enormous.”

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Luke Grant