The latest Newspoll shows support for Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives, along with others and the political grouping formerly led by Nick Xenophon, has risen one point to 9 per cent.
The Australian newspaper reports, at the same time Malcolm Turnbull has returned the Coalition to its strongest electoral position since September 2016, having eroded Labor’s commanding lead over the past 18 months to just two points as the government heads to the critical May budget.
The Prime Minister’s personal ratings have also rebounded following renewed questions over his leadership and suggestions that he could be vulnerable to a challenge in the second half of this year.
The Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian, shows the Coalition reducing Labor’s lead to 51-49 on a two-party-preferred split.
While confirming 31 losing Newspolls for the Coalition under Mr Turnbull, who now exceeds the benchmark of leadership failure he set for Tony Abbott, it is the best result since the immediate post-2016 election period and follows the Prime Minister’s declaration two weeks ago that he believed he could still lead the Coalition to victory at the next election.
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