Turnbull loses 30th consecutive Newspoll
IT IS the most anticipated opinion survey in two-and-a-half years and as expected Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lost his 30th Newspoll to Labor.
And just as readily forecast, nothing will happen to his leadership as a consequence.
There was no substantial movement of numbers in the opinion survey published in Monday's The Australian, with a federal election some 12 months away.
Bill Shorten's Labor Opposition led the Government with a two-party preferred vote of 52-48, marginal shift since late last month from 53-47.
The impact of the poll was to have been within the Liberal Party.
In September, 2015, Mr Turnbull listed 30 consecutive Newspoll losses as one reason for challenging then Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
It was a throwaway line he later regretted and matching the Abbott loss record will be embarrassing for the Prime Minister.
However, his position has been bolstered by support and appeals for Liberal unity from possible leadership contenders Treasurer Scott Morrison, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, and former prime minister John Howard.
And while movements in this latest Newspoll were statistically insignificant, some were in the right direction for Mr Turnbull.
Labor's primary vote rose two points to 39 per cent support and the Coalition's went up a single point to 38 per cent.
Mr Turnbull remained preferred prime minister over Mr Shorten, but still only just - 8 per cent to 36 per cent.
The man who had had to wear the 30-poll yoke back in 2015, former Prime Minister Abbott yesterday began his 21st Pollie Pedal from Melbourne to Cooma raising money for the Soldier On charity.
As he set off, Mr Abbott said politicians should not live in the past and that the last thing he wanted to see was "instability in government".
However, he allowed himself the space to, for time to time, "challenge the government" on policies and priorities.
"The important thing is for us to be the best possible government," Mr Abbott told reporters in Melbourne. "That's what I want, that's what the Australian people want."
Mr Morrison played down the significance of the 30th consecutive loss, saying people are focused on how much they are paying for their electricity and NBN connection, their jobs and what the future is going to mean for their families.
"I think all members of the government want to see the government performing well and to be returned at the next election," he told reporters in his NSW electorate of Cook.
"The alternative is Bill Shorten, which means higher taxes, a weaker economy and Australians paying more for everything."
But Mr Abbott called on his Liberal colleagues to explain why he was kicked out of office on the 30-Newspoll metric, telling News Corp newspapers: "Life is not fair."
Asked directly if he was part of a challenge to Mr Turnbull's leadership, Mr Abbott said: "Nope ... None of us should live in the past or dwell on things."
Government minister Josh Frydenberg believes Mr Turnbull's leadership is safe after the PM delivered on his promise of good economic leadership and cabinet-led government where he consults and considers policy in detail. But Opposition Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek said the impending loss would be down to the policies Mr Turnbull is pursuing.
She said that under the Turnbull government, billions of dollars have been cut from schools, universities, vocational education and hospitals while 100,000 pensioners have lost or are having their pension reduced.
Its energy and climate change policy is a "disaster", she added, and there has been a "big fail" on NBN.
"These are the issues that concern people, Newspoll is just a symptom of that," Ms Plibersek told Sky News.
Asked for her view of the Pollie Pedal event, Ms Plibersek thought it was "terrific" that parliamentarians were raising money for charity but said riding through the Latrobe Valley - the home of the now-closed Hazelwood coal-fired power station - on the day of Newspoll was a "bit choreographed".
Mr Abbott says the ride was planned at least six months ago given the logistics of organising an event for 50 riders and a support team. "I chose the route, there is no doubt about that, but these decisions were made months and months and months ago," he said.
Mr Abbott is a member of the so-called Monash Group, a newly formed gathering of conservative backbenchers, calling for taxpayers' money to be invested in a new coal power station.
- With AAP