Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the National Press Club in Canberra, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the National Press Club in Canberra, Thursday, May 16, 2019. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING

New poll: PM’s election bounce as Labor ahead

AUSTRALIANS  may think Scott Morrison has better intentions than his political rival and is a man of action but Bill Shorten remains in the box seat to be this country's next prime minister, according to a YouGov Galaxy poll conducted for News Corp this week.

The poll shows Labor ahead 51-49 per cent on a two party-preferred basis.

But the Coalition's primary vote has jumped two points to 39 per cent in the final two weeks of the election, while Labor's has flatlined at 37 per cent.

Voters have given their verdict on the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader in today's poll after five weeks of seeing them on the campaign trail.

Australians saw Mr Morrison primarily as "well-intentioned" but also as more "aggressive", "statesmanlike" and "arrogant" than Mr Shorten.

Mr Shorten was seen mostly as "shifty" - one of the Coalition's favourite terms for the Labor leader.

Australians also saw him as "less aggressive" but believed he was more "fake" and "dangerous" than Mr Morrison.

Voters thought Mr Morrison was the better leader, with 45 per cent saying he was their preferred prime minister compared to 37 per cent for Mr Shorten.

David Briggs, Managing Director YouGovGalaxy, said given the results, it is not surprising that Scott Morrison is regarded as the better Prime Minister but he has clearly come into this election with a party that many feel has had its chance.

"The poll confirms things have tightened since the start of the campaign but it really is too little, too late," Mr Briggs said.

"It also shows, and continues the trend, that when you have two unpopular leaders, like Gillard and Abbott, elections are generally close.

"And voters will go to the polls on Saturday thinking which one do I like the least."

The poll also reveals the cost of Labor's climate change policy will continue to dog the party even if it wins on Saturday.

Sixty per cent of Australians said the ALP should have revealed the economic cost of its plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent.

Only 22 per cent of the 1004 voters in the poll from May 13 to 15 thought it was acceptable for the party not to explain the cost.

Today's poll will be a morale boost for the Coalition but a Labor victory is still likely given the party's primary vote is 2.3 per cent higher than in 2016.

Labor picked up 14 seats at the last election with a primary vote increase of 1.35 per cent.

Key marginal seats, including Herbert and Forde in Queensland and La Trobe in Victoria, are neck and neck for the major parties, according to separate YouGov Galaxy polls conducted this week in 10 marginal seats.

The polls also revealed Peter Dutton was on track to win back his marginal Queensland seat of Dickson, thanks to preferences from Clive Palmer's United Australia Party.

But the billionaire mining magnate could fail to win a Senate seat despite splashing $60 million on his re-election advertising campaign with the UAP's primary vote sitting at an average of 8.25 per cent across four key marginal Queensland seats.

Mr Palmer needs at least 14.3 per cent of the vote, including with preference flows, to win a seat in the upper house.

"At this stage, he doesn't have anything locked down," election analyst Kevin Bonham told News Corp.

"In Queensland, he has a reasonable chance but it's by no means a sure thing or even a confident thing."

The marginal seat polls also revealed the Liberals' primary vote has crashed in Victoria in the traditional blue-ribbon electorates of Higgins and Deakin.

The party is now tipped to only narrowly hold on to both seats.

Reid in NSW is also on track to stay in Liberal hands, but the party looks set to lose Gilmore on the south coast.

The LNP will also likely hold the key marginal battleground of Flynn in Queensland.



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