Australian opposition holds slim lead over government ahead of May 18 election – poll

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s opposition Labor Party retained a narrow lead over the conservative coalition government, a closely watched poll showed on Monday, while the Labor’s leader popularity hit a four-year high days ahead of a general election.

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten shake hands before the first leaders forum at the Seven West Media Studios in Perth, Australia, April 29, 2019. AAP Image/ The West Australian POOL, Nic Ellis/via REUTERS

The Newspoll showed Labor ahead of the Liberal-National coalition, 51 percent to 49 percent, unchanged from polls over the past two weeks on a two-party preferred basis, where votes are distributed until a winner is declared.

Based on the poll, Labor would end up with 77 seats in Australia’s lower house, above the 76 needed to form government, against 68 for the coalition and 6 for other parties. Currently, Labor holds 69, the coalition 73 and other parties 8.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison officially launched the party’s campaign on Sunday, plugging his party’s economic credentials, and calling Labor’s plans to cut tax benefits and boost outlays for health and education “reckless spending”.

However, Labor has promised bigger budget surpluses than the government, with plans to cut generous tax concessions aimed at the country’s wealthiest.

The Newspoll showed voters’ net approval of Labor leader Bill Shorten climbed eight points to his highest since March 2015, although his rating still trails Morrison’s, by 10 points.

Shorten found popular support last week from voters who objected to a conservative tabloid’s report about the life of the opposition leader’s late mother. The report described Shorten’s account of his mother’s career struggles as inaccurate, which some, including the prime minister, saw as an unfair attack.

Morrison, who turned 51 on Monday, had an egg thrown at him on the campaign trail last week by a young woman apparently protesting Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. The egg grazed his head without cracking. Morrison called the act “thuggery”.

The election contest is expected to come down to a number of tightly fought seats in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, many of which feature independent candidates pushing for strong action on climate change.

The poll surveyed 1,644 voters across Australia on May 9-12. The maximum sampling error was plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Sam Holmes

Source

more recommended stories

  • South African court impounds Tanzanian plane in compensation case – lawyer

    DAR ES SALAAM/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South.

  • Hong Kong protests met with tear gas; China frees UK mission staffer

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • Global disputes likely to thwart unity at G7 summit in France

    BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – Leaders of.

  • Thousands march in Hong Kong; China frees UK mission worker

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong.

  • North Korea’s latest short-range missile launch complicates U.S. attempts for talks

    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired.

  • Lithuanian human chain links anti-Soviet and Hong Kong protesters

    VILNIUS (Reuters) – As protesters formed.

  • EU countries agree to share out Ocean Viking migrants

    BRUSSELS/MILAN (Reuters) – Six European Union.

  • Billionaire industrialist and conservative donor David Koch dies at age 79

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Billionaire industrialist David.

  • The sky never goes dark while the Amazon burns

    HUMAITA, Brazil (Reuters) – There are.

  • Half a century on, Soviet message in a bottle found in Alaska

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Tyler Ivanoff, an.

  • Japan says ending intelligence pact shows South Korea fails to appreciate North Korean threat

    FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Defence Minister Takeshi.

  • Ocean Viking rescue ship awaits port access in latest migrant standoff

    MILAN (Reuters) – Two charities running.

  • French mayors ban glyphosate weedkiller, defying government

    RENNES, France (Reuters) – Some 20.

  • Ukraine, EU oppose Trump’s suggestion of readmitting Russia to G7

    KIEV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president backed.

  • Israel eases rules on cyber weapons exports despite criticism

    TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel is.

  • Dutch government considers major investment push – paper

    AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government.

  • Washington Governor Inslee withdraws bid for U.S. Democratic presidential nomination

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington state Governor.

  • U.S. charges Kansas researcher over ties to Chinese university

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A researcher at.

  • Canada’s Trudeau says won’t back down in dispute with China, urges restraint in Hong Kong

    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister.

  • Nigeria’s Buhari assigns cabinet portfolios, appoints new oil minister

    FILE PHOTO: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

  • More than 2,000 people displaced, 19 killed in Myanmar fighting

    YANGON (Reuters) – More than 2,000.

  • Moderate Islamists make new power quest in Tunisia

    TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s moderate Islamists.

  • Ex-Vatican treasurer Pell to learn fate on child sex offences appeal

    George Pell arrives at the Supreme.

  • China hopes U.S. will come back to the table at Chile climate talks

    By Natalia A. Ramos Miranda and.

  • Syrian army poised to take key town after rebel withdrawals

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian government forces.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo says ISIS strong in some areas -CBS

    FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State.

  • Tensions build on migrant ship off Italy; 10 jump overboard

    MADRID/LAMPEDUSA (Reuters) – Tensions rose on.

  • Space telescope offers rare glimpse of Earth-sized rocky exoplanet

    (Reuters) – Direct observations from a.

  • U.S. envoy offers farm visas to boost asylum deal with Guatemala

    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – In a.

  • In retrial, El Salvador acquits woman accused of killing her stillborn child

    CIUDAD DELGADO, El Salvador (Reuters) –.

  • Washington cannot influence China’s decisions on Hong Kong – Global Times tabloid

    FILE PHOTO: Anti-extradition bill protesters march.

  • Polish opposition unites in bid to wrest Senate from ruling nationalists

    WARSAW (Reuters) – Polish opposition parties.