Australian Leader Takes Lead in First Poll Since Shock Win

Jason Scott

(Bloomberg) -- The first major opinion poll since Prime Minister Scott Morrison masterminded a shock election victory in May shows Australians appear to be warming to his conservative government.

The Newspoll published in the Australian on Monday shows Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition leading Labor, 53% to 47%, in the two-party preferred measure. The survey was conducted among 1,601 voters and has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points, the newspaper said.

Morrison, 51, is enjoying a honeymoon period after securing a third consecutive term for his conservatives, and only a year on from seizing the leadership as the government threatened to unravel due to infighting and policy inertia. Since returning to power, he’s been further buoyed by the passing of signature legislation designed to roll out A$158 billion ($109 billion) of tax cuts to more than 10 million workers.

While there’s a sense the government looks secure against the center-left opposition, which is trying to regroup after its surprise loss, some political observers may be wary of placing too much faith in Australian opinion polls after they all failed to point to a win for Morrison in May. Years of Newspoll polling showed Labor on track for victory, and its survey conducted about a week before the May 18 election showed it leading 51% to 49%.

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