Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is likely to face renewed calls for his resignation following yet another disastrous opinion poll in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. The monthly Fairfax/Ipsos poll of 1402 people was taken between August 13 and August 15, and found that Labor’s lead over the ruling Coalition had extended to 54-46 on a two-party preferred basis, based on preference flows at the 2013 Federal Election.
Is Prime Minister Abbott in trouble?
However, Ipsos this time also asked for the second preference of all 1402 participants to account for changes in voting preference, and discovered that voters were fleeing the Liberals, Nationals and its right-wing partners to such an extent that Labor’s lead had in fact blown out to a remarkable 56-44. That translates to a 7.5% swing against the Coalition, and if an election were held today, Labor would win up to 36 seats in a landslide victory.
The result caps a miserable month for the conservative Liberal/National coalition, which has torn itself apart over the economy, the environment, same-sex marriage, and national security as moderates publicly air their grievances over Tony Abbott’s hardline conservatism.
This is not the first time for Mr. Abbott
Abbott’s government has also lurched between crisis and controversy in recent times, including:
- – Abbott’s inexplicable attack on Australia’s national broadcaster (the ABC) for supporting freedom of speech.
- – Abbott’s banning of Coalition MPs from participating in public forums in a temper tantrum.
- – Abbott’s continued support of Speaker Bronwyn Bishop despite her widespread rorting of taxpayer-funded travel expenses.
- – Abbott’s refusal to sack Bishop despite her bias and clear breach of parliamentary conventions as Speaker.
- – Abbott’s refusal to allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage despite majority public support for the policy.
- – Abbott’s threats against ministers and public bullying of MPs who support same-sex marriage.
- – Attorney-General George Brandis’ labelling of a successful court ruling against a QLD coal mine as “vigilante litigation”.
- – The government’s egregious miscalculation of G20 expenses, which saw some costs increase almost seven-fold on previous estimates.
- – The Liberals’ refusal to acknowledge allegations of widespread corruption and Mafia donations over the last decade.
- – Abbott’s refusal to sack Justice Dyson Heydon from the highly politicised 61 million dollar Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, despite Heydon’s open political bias and recent attendance at a Liberal Party fundraiser.
- – Abbott’s ongoing lack of reform agenda on economic, social and environmental policy.
Abbott survived a leadership spill earlier this year, but six months after promising that he would return to “good government”, the Prime Minister once again finds himself leading his party towards electoral annihilation. Indeed, the Coalition government is now in an even worse position than it was before Abbott’s so-called “good government” began, and with today’s poll also showing moderate MP Malcolm Turnbull as preferred Prime Minister, it seems only a matter of time before Coalition MPs once again mount a challenge to Abbott’s increasingly terminal leadership.