Australian PM’s ratings take a hit ahead of election
Published: Jan 18, 2022 07:09 PM
Scott Morrison Photo:Xinhua

Scott Morrison Photo:Xinhua

 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's approval ratings slid after his handling of the Omicron-driven coronavirus outbreak fuelled a backlash, a widely watched poll showed on Tuesday, putting opposition Labor into a leading position months away from a federal election.

Australian voters are losing confidence in Morrison and his Liberal-National Party coalition government on the economy, jobs, health and the response to a fast-moving Omicron wave, according to a poll done by research company Resolve Strategic for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

Morrison has always enjoyed a strong lead over his rival, Labor leader Anthony Albanese, but has lost a double-digit margin he held just two months ago. Around 38 percent of voters want Morrison as the country's leader, while 31 percent support Albanese.

Labor has increased its primary vote to 35 percent from 32 percent since November, while the ruling coalition's fell five points to 34 percent.

Morrison, who has to call an election before May, has been fielding criticism over his handling of the Omicron outbreak that has pushed daily infections to record levels, driving up hospitalization rates and straining health systems.

Instead of reinstating restrictions early this month, he said Australia must "push through" the Omicron wave and relaxed isolation rules for close contacts in a bid to ease the pressure on businesses that are facing staff shortages.

Trailing in polls is not new for Morrison.