Malcolm Turnbull rises in popularity in recent poll; Bill Shorten far behind

By @snksounak on
Malcolm Turnbull
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (C) and Indonesian President Joko Widodo (L) shake hands with people after visiting a market in central Jakarta, Indonesia November 12, 2015. Reuters/Darren Whiteside

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is getting less popular among voters, according to a recent poll, while Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull is hailed as a better prime minister by more number of voters.

Turnbull, as a preferred prime minister, leads Shorten by 64 percent to 15 percent. His Liberal-National coalition looks all set to win elections to be held by the end of 2016.

Political analyst John Warhurst of the Australian National University in Canberra believes Shorten’s colleagues must be worried as his popularity has dropped significantly. The support for the opposition leader is the lowest of any Labor leader in 12 years.

According to the Newspoll published exclusively on The Australian on Tuesday, only 26 percent are satisfied with Shorten’s performance while 57 percent are dissatisfied.

The numbers are steady for the opposition leader as the level of dissatisfaction for him among voters has been in the mid-50s since September.

However, the popularity of the Australian prime minister has increased in a dramatic fashion. Only 37 percent were satisfied with the Australian PM in the first week of September when Abbott was still at the helm.

Soon after Turnbull came to power on Sep. 15, his popularity rose to 55 percent. In the most recent poll, 64 percent voters say they are satisfied with their PM. When asked who their choice is as a better PM, only 15 percent went for Shorten.

Shorten seemed extremely popular while Tony Abbott was at the helm, according to previous polls. However, his popularity has dropped since Turnbull took charge. Warhurst believes the only thing that goes in favour of Shorten is that there is no obvious alternative for him in the party.

“Turnbull’s popularity among voters isn’t a flash in the pan and should continue in the longer term,” Bloomberg quoted Warhurst as saying. “His government is now in a very strong position.”

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