Abbott more unpopular than Gillard: poll

Australian voters are abandoning the Coalition government in droves, with only three in 10 believing Prime Minister Tony Abbott will make it to the next federal election.

A Fairfax Ipsos poll released on Monday shows Mr Abbott’s popularity has plummeted since the previous poll in December, with his disapproval rating reaching 67 per cent.

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Half of those polled now prefer Bill Shorten as leader, with 50 per cent listing the Labor leader as preferred prime minister, compared to 34 per cent for Mr Abbott.

The prime minister’s negative approval rating (approval less disapproval), is one of the worst in modern politics, hitting a new record of minus 38 in the Ipsos poll.

Julia Gillard at her lowest point reached minus 30, according to a Fairfax report, while Malcolm Turnbull hit minus 29 as opposition leader before being replaced by Mr Abbott.

The only higher negative disapproval rating in polling history was the minus 40 reached by Paul Keating in 1993.

Voting intentions of those polled also indicates Labor would easily win an election if held today, with Labor’s primary vote on 54 per cent after preferences, compared with just 46 per cent for the government.

This is almost a reversal of the 2013 election result, where the Coalition’s primary vote led Labor, 46 to 33 per cent.

The poll results represent a 7 per cent win away from the Coalition, and would see the government lose 36 seats, according to Fairfax.

The poll comes just days after what looks set to be a drastic Liberal National Party defeat in Queensland, where the party has lost more than 30 seats fall to Labor.

On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss was the latest Coalition member to pledge his support to Mr Abbott amid speculation of a leadership challenge, telling ABC radio he had “no doubt” Mr Abbott had the support of his colleagues.

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