GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up: Pain in Polls for Government 

9 March 2018
  • The PM has spent time in Sydney this week, attending a range of events in the wake of a less than favourable Newspoll.
  • It is yet to be confirmed whether US President Donald Trump’s steel tariffs will apply to Australian exports.
  • The West Gate Tunnel project has faced push back from the Victorian Liberals and Greens.
  • In State Election news, the Tasmanian Liberal Party has claimed victory over the weekend; the Andrews Labor Government leads in the Victorian polls; and pre-polling has opened in SA ahead of the election.
Labor Marches Ahead in the Polls 

In the midst of ongoing scrutiny over Barnaby Joyce’s personal life, recent Newspoll results have revealed a drop in Coalition support, with the Government trailing Labor on 47 to 53 per cent in two-party preferred terms. This marks the 28th Newspoll where the Coalition has trailed Labor. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull previously referenced the Coalition’s 30-poll losing streak when explaining his decision to challenge Tony Abbott for the prime ministership. Labor continues to lead by a one-point margin in the primary vote, 38 to 37.

Turnbull’s Travels 

Prime Minister Turnbull has spent time in Sydney this week, beginning with the 40thanniversary of Mardi Gras celebrations over the weekend. On Sunday, Mr Turnbull announced the Western Sydney City Deal in partnership with NSW Government and eight local councils. The PM said the Western Sydney Airport precinct will include an Aerotropolis encompassing knowledge-intensive industries and learning. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Federal and NSW Governments will provide $50 million to fund a business case for the North South Rail Line from St Marys to Badgerys Creek. The PM also delivered an address at the Australian Financial Review Business Summit, focusing on the Government’s efforts to create more jobs and help Australians embrace change.

PM’s Son in Spotlight 

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s son, Alex Turnbull, has been quoted as saying he was sidelined at a global investment bank for blowing the whistle on deals with a controversial Malaysian sovereign wealth fund with connections to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The coverage comes as Prime Minister Turnbull prepares to host Mr Razak and other leaders at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Sydney next weekend. Alex Turnbull says he was misquoted in the story, while his father has refused to comment on the matter.

Trade War 

It is not yet clear whether US steel tariffs will reach Australian shores, despite a push from Mr Turnbull during his most recent meeting with US President Donald Trump to honour a promised exemption for Australian exporters. The PM described the increasingly protectionist position as “a dead end” and “not a ladder to get you out of the low-growth trap. It’s a shovel to dig it much deeper”. Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said the threatened tariffs would “further impoverish people” and result in “no prosperity at all”, but has not ruled out retaliation.

A Liberal Tasmania 

The Hodgman Liberal Government has claimed victory at the State Election over the weekend, however, the final vote count will not be known for several weeks. The Liberal win has come at a cost to the Greens, who have collected just 10.3 per cent of the vote, while the Jacqui Lambie Network held onto only 3.1 per cent.

The Victorian Scene

The Andrews Labor Government has welcomed positive Newspoll results this week, leading on 52 to 48 per cent in two-party preferred terms against the Coalition, ahead of the November election. The results indicate ongoing voter dissatisfaction over crime rates in Victoria.

SA Election Looming 

With one week until the election, an explosive Newspoll has revealed a sharp drop in SA Best’s popularity since December last year. Both the Liberal and Labor parties have clawed back support from Nick Xenophon’s party, now sharing a significant lead over SA Best. See the full election coverage in this week’s issue of ‘SA Votes’.

Looking Ahead

The NSW, WA and NT parliaments will sit next week.


Back to articles