Horror polls spell trouble for Anthony Albanese as he tries to win over Australians with his cost of living plan

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The Albanian government’s interim malaise appears to be taking hold as voters continue to shun tackling the persistent cost of living, new opinion polls show.

The new election survey, conducted by Sydney-based pollster Freshwater Strategy, shows Labor and the Coalition are neck and neck in the two-party preferred stake of 50 percent each.

Since the 2022 election, Labor has lost two points while the Coalition has risen by five points, the polls show.

In a sign of growing frustration with the government’s strategy, just over half of all voters surveyed believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.

The poll found that while 74 percent of voters named cost-of-living pressures as their most pressing problem, 80 percent say the Albanian government has failed to tackle the problem.

Household budgets have come under greater pressure since early 2022 as rising inflation reverses real incomes and the Reserve Bank’s aggressive round of rate hikes puts pressure on borrowers’ ability to meet mortgage repayments.

Albanians go for Chinese food at the local restaurant in Marrickville
Camera iconThe Prime Minister was spotted grabbing a bite to eat with his partner, Jodie Haydon. Ross Jones Credit: Delivered

It comes as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was spotted on a low-key date at the modest Yum Cha establishment, Hung Cheung, with his partner Jodie Haydon earlier this month.

Here, Marrickville residents can get a portion of spring rolls for $10.80 or order a portion of honey chicken for $24.80.

But as the government further strengthens its green energy strategy, voters are overwhelmingly skeptical about its ability to deliver on its promise to cut household energy bills by $275 a year by 2025, compared to pre-election prices from 2022.

The poll shows that 43 percent of Labor supporters, 61 percent of Greens supporters and 81 percent of Coalition supporters do not expect Energy Secretary Chris Bowen to keep this promise.

PRIME MINISTER FRANKSTON
Camera iconAs Albanese and his government begin a new year, they are struggling to maintain momentum in the polls. NCA NewsWire / Nicki Connolly Credit: News Corp Australia

The skepticism comes despite the Bureau of Statistics reporting that government interventions to bridge the brunt of higher energy prices have helped keep household costs lower. Voters expect prices to rise even further.

Although the Prime Minister has ruled out the country going back to the polls for a second referendum on Australia becoming a republic, following the failed attempt to get an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vote in parliament, the government appears to have support for the issue.

But despite 52 percent of voters supporting the issue, 55 percent of respondents believe there should not be a second referendum.

However, the Prime Minister can take some solace in the polling data, with Mr Albanese maintaining a commanding lead over Opposition Leader Peter Dutton on the Prime Minister’s preferred measure.

Of those polled, 47 percent would prefer Mr Albanese in the top position, compared to 38 percent who prefer Mr Dutton.

Yet more voters have an unfavorable view of the prime minister, with 43 percent, while Dutton is 3 percentage points behind.

“There is absolutely no confidence that the government is likely to deliver on the promises made on cost of living relief,” Dr Michael Turner of Freshwater Strategy told me. The Daily Telegraph.

“This time last year he was quite high in the polls in terms of his likeability and in terms of voter intentions, and now he has neither.”

The online Freshwater Poll interviewed more than 1,000 voters and was held last week.

Mr Albanese and his government still have a lot of time to repair their deteriorating relationship with the electorate. Barring early elections, the deadline for the next national poll is May 17, 2025.

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