Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton during Question Time.
The latest Newspoll shows Labor's primary vote has slipped while the Coalition's has edged up. Image by Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics (general)

Labor dips in Newspoll as cost of living bites

Belad Al-karkhey March 25, 2024

Australians feeling the pinch from the high cost of living are unconvinced the Labor government is doing enough to ease the cost of living pressures.

Federal Labor’s primary vote has slipped while the Coalition’s has edged up, the latest Newspoll shows.

The poll, conducted for The Australian, shows Labor’s primary vote falling a point to 32 per cent while the Coalition gained a point to 37.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government is “trying to take some of the edge off these cost-of-living pressures without adding to” economic inflation.

“Our job is to do the right thing for the right reasons and the politics will take care of themselves,” he told the Nine network.

“We frame budgets based on the economic cycle, not the political cycle.”

Opposition finance minister Jane Hume said the government is focusing on the “wrong priorities” and is distracted by the “chaos on our borders”.

Labor’s two-party-preferred lead over the Coalition has been reduced by two points to 51-49 per cent.

Assistant Defence Minister Matt Thistlewaite said tax cuts from July 1 would ensure “Australians can earn more and keep more of what they earn”.

He highlighted further investment into cheaper medicine, Medicare, cheaper childcare and energy price rebates.

“I asked a lot of people over the weekend, ‘Do you know what the Liberal party’s policies are on cost of living?’ And not one person could name one,” Mr Thistlewaite told Sky News.

Labor won the last election on a two-party preferred vote of 52.1 per cent compared with the Liberal-Nationals vote of 47.9.

With a year to go before the next federal election, Nationals leader David Littleproud said voters would support “who can best explain how they’re going to tackle the cost of living crisis”.

“Whether it be at the check out, every time they get their electricity bill or when their mortgage comes through every month,” he told the Nine network.

A total of 31 per cent of voters polled indicated they would not support Labor or the Coalition.

Combined support for Labor and the Coalition at 69 per cent confirmed the continued trend away from the major parties.

The Greens were up one point to 13 per cent while Pauline Hanson’s One Nation also rose one point to seven per cent.

The poll found little change in the approval ratings for either leader in the past month.

Mr Albanese’s approval rose one point to 44 per cent while his dissatisfaction rating remained unchanged on 51 per cent.

Mr Dutton’s approval rating of 37 per cent was unchanged while his disapproval rose one point to 52 per cent.

In the head-to-head contest, on which leader would make the better prime minister, the numbers also remained largely unaltered.

Mr Albanese rose one point to 48 per cent while Mr Dutton fell one point to 34 per cent with 18 per cent of voters claiming they didn’t know.

The Newspoll surveyed 1223 voters nationally between March 18 and 22.