The parties of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten (L) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison (R) are almost neck to neck according to the latest Newspoll. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England, Mick Tsikas
The parties of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten (L) and Prime Minister Scott Morrison (R) are almost neck to neck according to the latest Newspoll. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England, Mick Tsikas

Federal election 2019: Coalition closes gap on Labor

SCOTT Morrison's coalition has narrowed the gap to Labor in the latest Newspoll and the government now trails the opposition by one percentage point. Minor party preferences are now expected to be fundamental to the election result on May 18.

An exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian shows the Coalition has improved its two party preferred vote by one point, edging in on Labor at 49-51.

This is the most favourable result to date for the government under Scott Morrison's leadership.

The poll comes after the first two weeks of the election campaign in which Mr Morrison has campaigned heavily on the economy and attacking Labor's tax plans.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison campaigning at a liberal party campaign rally at in Sydney, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former PM John Howard. Picture: Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison campaigning at a liberal party campaign rally at in Sydney, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former PM John Howard. Picture: Gary Ramage

However, both major parties have lost popular support with Clive Palmer's United Australia Party taking 5 per cent of the primary vote nationally.

The Coalition's primary vote fell from 39 per cent to 38 per cent in the past fortnight.

Labor's vote fell two points to 37 per cent during the same period.

But despite the Coalition's progress, Labor would still be positioned to win the election based on the latest survey's results.

Bill Shorten has his highest approval rating since March 2015 at 39 per cent of voters feeling satisfied with his performance.

Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said if elected he will spend $4 billion to reduce the out-of-pocket costs parents pay for child care. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said if elected he will spend $4 billion to reduce the out-of-pocket costs parents pay for child care. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

 

As preferred prime minister he gained two points, while the poll recorded a one point drop for Mr Morrison.

Mr Morrison's approval ratings are unchanged at 45 per cent, although disapproval rose two points to 46 per cent.

But the latest Newspoll marks a six-point turnaround for the Coalition since March 7 when it trailed 46-54.

 

Read more in The Australian.