Labor leads in the polls, debate a draw

Federal Labor is ahead in the polls with less than two weeks until election day, as the second leaders’ debate was declared a draw.

The latest results from two polls show Labor is the preferred party as early voting begins from Monday.

An Ipsos poll published in the Australian Financial Review reveals Labor is leading 52 per cent to 40 per cent for the coalition on a two-party preferred basis.


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If undecided voters are discounted, the result was 57 per cent for Labor against 43 per cent for the coalition.

A Newspoll published in The Australian showed two-party support for Labor was at 54 per cent against 46 per cent for the coalition.

Asked if the coalition was looking at losing office at the May 21 federal election, Finance minister Simon Birmingham played down both poll results.

“Australians saw last time that polls can be terribly wrong and that, ultimately, the decision is in their hands,” he told Seven Network on Monday.

“So all the way through to Saturday week we will be fighting for every vote.”

In 2019, voter polls consistently pointed to a Labor win under Bill Shorten but Scott Morrison was able to claim victory for the coalition.

Mr Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese went head-to-head in the second leader’s debate on Sunday night on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes program.

Asked who won the often feisty and shouty debate, viewers were evenly split 50-50 between the men vying for the nation’s top job.

Agriculture Minister David Littlepround said a lot of voters, up to 20 per cent, were still to make up their minds.

“We need to get calm, start talking about the policies that we have for Australia moving forward and reflect on what we’ve achieved,” he told Nine Network.

The Australian Electoral Commission is urging people to plan their vote amid the backdrop of the pandemic.

About 550 early voting centres will be operational nationwide in the lead up to polling day.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said despite the AEC’s planning, services could still be impacted by COVID-19.

He said there were plenty of voting options for people who couldn’t turn up on election day.

“Australian elections are in-person, community events held once every three years and built around election day, so if you can vote on election day then that’s what you should do,” Mr Rogers said.

“We ask for all Australians to be patient. We have all learned to adjust our service expectations throughout COVID.

“There will be some queues which is why everyone needs to plan their vote.”

The Ipsos poll also showed 41 per cent of respondents named Mr Albanese as their preferred prime minister, against 36 for Mr Morrison.

In the Newspoll, Mr Morrison was 44 per cent in the better prime minister stakes, against 42 per cent for Mr Albanese.

© AAP 2022