LABOR has widened its lead over the Coalition while Malcolm Turnbull’s standing as preferred prime minister has taken a hit in the latest Newspoll results.
The Australian reports voters have swung further toward Labor, leading over the Coalition 55 to 45 in two-party terms, while giving Bill Shorten a dramatic boost as preferred prime minister.
In one of the biggest blows to his personal ratings since he took the prime ministership from Tony Abbott, Mr Turnbull’s standing as preferred PM has been scaled back 41 to 36 per cent.
The results also showed the Coalition’s primary vote has fallen from 35 to 34 per cent after the ongoing citizenship scandal.
Voters increased their support for Mr Shorten as preferred prime minister from 33 to 34 per cent, narrowing the gap between the two leaders to just two percentage points — the closest it has ever been between them.
According to The Australian, this Newspoll puts Labor in its strongest overall position since Mr Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister in September 2015, with the Labor primary vote rising from 37 to 38 per cent at the same time Mr Shorten gains ground on key leadership measures.
It comes as Mr Turnbull touched down in the Philippines capital for the East Asia leaders summit where he’s been welcomed with a dance party on the tarmac.
Groups of high school students danced in colourful traditional costumes with umbrellas spelling out his name while a group of firefighters stood in formation and waved.
Escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons testing program and cracking down on terrorism financing will be among Mr Turnbull’s key discussion points.
He’s expected to have bilateral talks with US President Donald Trump as well as leaders from China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia on the sidelines of the summit.
Originally published as Turnbull takes a hit in horror poll