Federal government poll-axed

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will enter Monday’s leadership spill with the worst approval rating of any prime minister since Paul Keating in 1994, a new poll has revealed.

A Newspoll, published in The Australian, shows Labor holding an election-winning 57 to 43 per cent over the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis.

The devastating slump in the Coalition’s primary vote – to 35 per cent – comes as Liberal MPs prepare to decide whether they will replace Mr Abbott as leader.

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The poll showed only 24 per cent respondents were satisfied with Mr Abbott’s performance as prime minister, while one in five think he is the best person to lead the Liberal Party.

Mr Abbott’s disapproval rating now sits at 68 per cent, up 10 per cent since the last Newspoll in December.

The government’s primary vote is at a 10-month low, 10 points below the Coalition’s election-winning result in September 2013.

It’s the Coalition’s worst result in the polls since potential leadership candidate Malcolm Turnbull was Opposition Leader in 2009.

The Newspoll showed overwhelming support for Mr Turnbull to lead the Liberal party and become prime minister.

Mr Turnbull leads Mr Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as preferred leader.

But despite being popular with the majority of voters, Mr Turnbull is the least preferred leader among Liberal voters.

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The majority of Mr Turnbull’s support comes from Labor voters, with Mr Abbott preferred among Liberal voters to lead the party, 54 to 40 per cent.

Among Labor voters, 83 per cent would like to see Mr Turnbull as prime minister, while only 9 per cent were happy with Mr Abbott.

Ms Bishop leads Mr Turnbull, 46 to 39 per cent, among Liberal voters as preferred leader.

Abbott toxic in New South Wales

The dire results come as a Fairfax Ipsos poll shows Mr Abbott’s unpopularity is driving voters away from New South Wales Liberal Premier Mike Baird ahead of the March state election.

While Mr Baird’s approval rating sits at 60 per cent, the performance of the Abbott government has reportedly driven one in 10 Liberal voters away from the Coalition at a state level.

The polls shows Mr Baird’s Coalition government will be re-elected at the March 28 election, but would see a swing of 8.2 per cent against it and could lost up to 15 seats, according to a Fairfax report.

Victoria’s Coalition government was defeated by Labor in November, and in Queensland, Labor looks set to form government after the LNP lost more than 30 seats at the state election last weekend.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s approval rating is now at a nine-month high of 42 per cent.

The Newspoll also puts Mr Shorten as preferred prime minister by a margin of 48 to 30 per cent over Mr Abbott.

The Greens’ primary vote was unchanged at 12 per cent.

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