Australia

Labor retains lead but Shorten slips as party's preferred leader: Newspoll

The opinion poll also suggests the majority of voters support the government’s plan to cut the rate of corporate tax

Bill Shorten has fallen behind his colleague Anthony Albanese as preferred Labor leader, according to the latest Newspoll, despite the opposition retaining its two-party lead over the Coalition government.

Around 26 percent of those polled said they would prefer Mr Albanese, while Mr Shorten and his deputy Tanya Plibersek scored 23 percent each.

Support for Mr Shorten has slipped since the last poll but remains strong among declared Labor voters – 39 percent of those backed the current leader, against 22 percent for Mr Albanese.

The poll is the first released by News Corp since the date of July 28 was set for a ‘super Saturday’ of by-elections in five Lower House seats. Four of the five electorates are Labor’s to lose.

Labor has maintained its lead over the Coalition as the preferred party of government at 52 – 48 in the latest poll.

Mr Shorten’s campaign in the upcoming by-elections will focus on a strong opposition to the Coalition’s signature company tax cuts, which have so far failed to pass the Senate.

But the Newspoll shows 63 percent of voters support the tax cuts for companies.

Meanwhile, One Nation managed a two-point rise to claim eight per cent of the popular vote, while the Greens stayed on nine per cent and the other minor parties dropped to seven per cent.

The July by-elections come after four Labor MPs were forced to quit over their citizenship status, while a fifth was triggered by WA Labor MP Tim Hammond's shock resignation.

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