The Resolve Political Monitor surveyed 1609 eligible voters from Wednesday to Sunday, a period when Albanese was on holiday in Queensland while Dutton flew to Alice Springs to talk about health and safety for Indigenous Australians and his objections to the Voice. The results have a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
The findings follow federal Labor’s victory in the Aston byelection in Melbourne on April 1 and state Labor winning the NSW state election on March 25 against the backdrop of national debates on the Voice, the cost of living, the AUKUS pact and funding for services such as Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
When voters were asked to name their preferred prime minister, 55 per cent chose Albanese and 21 per cent chose Dutton – a bigger gulf between the two leaders than the results of 51 and 22 per cent a month ago.
Dutton has lost ground at a challenging point in his leadership after Liberal MP Julian Leeser quit the frontbench last week because he could not support the shadow cabinet position against the Voice, while backbenchers including Andrew Bragg and Bridget Archer have also disagreed with the leader on the issue.
On Tuesday, Dutton announced Leeser’s replacement – Country Liberal Party Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, a fierce critic of the Voice – while home affairs spokeswoman Karen Andrews also resigned from the frontbench.
“It’s tempting to think that Dutton’s No on the Voice has resulted in voters saying No to him. That’s partly true, but is too simplistic a reading,” said Reed.
“Instead, the Liberals’ stance on the Voice and subsequent resignations are symptomatic of what is a deeper malaise – for instance, being seen to move to the right, being distracted or disunited.
“The shrinking Coalition voting base has become more strongly No in this survey so it’s safe to say that the Liberals have lost some Voice supporters. However, they have not been replaced with Voice opposers.
“That means that their position on the Voice was enough to put moderate Liberal voters off, but not enough to attract voters opposed to the Voice because there are bigger issues for them and with the party.”
Asked to name the party and leader who were best for the country, 42 per cent of voters named Labor and Albanese while 21 per cent named the Coalition and Dutton.
Asked the regular monthly question of who had a united team behind the leader, 51 per cent named Labor and Albanese while 13 per cent named the Coalition and Dutton.
On this and other measures, the government regained some of the big leads over the Coalition it had seen in the immediate aftermath of the election, before some of those gains were eroded in February and March. The government now has a lead of 38 percentage points on the question about a “united team behind the leader” – back to the level it saw last December and August.
Asked which side was competent, 43 per cent chose Labor and Albanese while 20 per cent named the Coalition and Dutton, widening the gap by six percentage points over the past month.
The gap between the two sides also widened by six points when voters were asked which side offered strong leadership, with 47 per cent naming Labor and Albanese compared to 19 per cent who favoured the Coalition and Dutton.
The dispute over the Voice has dominated media coverage of national affairs over the past week but Dutton has not generated a bigger No vote despite his fierce criticism of the constitutional amendment. A separate section of the latest Resolve Political Monitor found that 58 per cent backed the change while 42 per cent were against, in line with results a month earlier.
When voters were asked which side was best on managing issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, 41 per cent named Labor and Albanese while 16 per cent preferred the Coalition and Dutton. The government’s lead in this policy area has widened from 17 to 25 percentage points over the past month.
Asked to name the party and leader they thought best to manage the economy, 36 per cent named Labor and Albanese and 30 per cent named the Coalition and Dutton. Asked about jobs and wages, 46 per cent named Labor and Albanese and 22 per cent named the Coalition and Dutton. On keeping the cost of living low, the government had a lead of 31 to 21 per cent.
Asked about Albanese in the latest survey, 56 per cent of voters said he was doing a good job and 30 per cent said he was doing a poor job.
This resulted in a net performance rating of 27 percentage points, up slightly on the February and March results but down from 35 points in January and 36 points in December.
Asked about Dutton, 26 per cent said he was doing a good job and 54 per cent said he was doing a poor job. This meant his net rating was minus 28 percentage points, down from minus 11 points four weeks ago and his lowest rating in nine Resolve Political Monitor surveys conducted since the election.
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