Australia

Labor's lead cut to lowest in six months following border protection row: poll

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says it's possible to have strong borders and humane treatment of asylum seekers. Source: AAP

The latest Ipsos opinion poll suggests federal Labor's lead over the coalition has been cut with the ALP now leading 51 to 49 on a two-party preferred basis.

Federal Labor's lead over the coalition has been cut to the slimmest of margins, according to an opinion poll conducted as debate raged over border protection.

Labor leads Scott Morrison's government 51 to 49 on a two-party preferred basis in the latest Ipsos poll published online by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers on Sunday night.

The previous Ipsos poll in December suggested the ALP was ahead 54 to 46.

The latest poll was conducted between Tuesday and Friday last week as politicians in Canberra debated legislation to provide medical assistance to asylum seekers being held on Manus Island and Nauru.

Mr Morrison vowed to ramp up border security patrols and reopen the Christmas Island detention centre after federal parliament on Wednesday passed laws fast-tracking medical evacuations for some refugees.

The Ipsos poll's two-party result is the narrowest since mid-2018.

The phone survey of 1200 respondents suggests Labor's primary vote has fallen from 37 to 33 per cent.

The coalition's primary vote has jumped from 36 to 38 per cent, according to the survey.

Mr Morrison has slightly increased his lead as preferred prime minister over Labor leader Bill Shorten - he's now ahead 48 to 38 per cent.

Some 14 per cent of voters are uncommitted.

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