Voters have voiced their opinions of Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten ahead of the federal election. Picture: Supplied
Voters have voiced their opinions of Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten ahead of the federal election. Picture: Supplied

Smug vs dodgy: What voters think of Aussie leaders

EXCLUSIVE:  Australian voters believe Bill Shorten is "untrustworthy" above all other character traits, while Scott Morrison is seen as "well-intentioned" but "smug" and "arrogant".

An exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll conducted for News Corp Australia reveals people trust Pauline Hanson more than the Opposition leader.

Despite these findings, the poll, conducted before this week's Budget announcements tipped Labor to win the election.

The study also showed voters overwhelmingly don't back Labor's negative gearing changes or 'retiree tax' and think asylum seeker boats are more likely to restart under a Labor government.

Scott Morrison was seen as "well-intentioned" by 34 per cent of voters.

But Australians also viewed the Prime Minister as "smug" (31 per cent), "arrogant" (31 per cent) and "untrustworthy" (30 per cent).

Mr Shorten was rated "untrustworthy" by 34 per cent of voters.

That's slightly higher than One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, who was ranked "untrustworthy" by 33 per cent - although her key characteristic was seen as "dangerous" by 38 per cent of voters.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was ranked untrustworthy by 33 per cent of voters. Picture: Getty
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was ranked untrustworthy by 33 per cent of voters. Picture: Getty

Voters also saw Mr Shorten as "well-intentioned" (30 per cent), "arrogant" (30 per cent), "smug" (29 per cent) and "useless" (26 per cent).

The Opposition leader was more likely to be seen as well-intentioned by voters in his home state of Victoria (33 per cent) than untrustworthy (31 per cent).

But Queensland voters were the reverse, with 39 per cent ranking him untrustworthy compared to 31 per cent who backed him as well-intentioned.

 

Voters see Prime Minister Scott Morrison as “well-intentioned”... Picture: AAP
Voters see Prime Minister Scott Morrison as “well-intentioned”... Picture: AAP

 

Businessman Clive Palmer, who has poured millions into a political campaign without confirming if he will run, was also described as "untrustworthy" by 49 per cent of respondents and "arrogant" by 46 per cent.

Australians don't seem to be swayed by their distrust of Mr Shorten.

Every age bracket from 18 to 64 was more likely to vote for the ALP than the Coalition.

That's despite the fact that 41 per cent of Aussies also think asylum seeker boat arrivals will restart under Labor, compared to just 32 per cent who don't and 27 per cent who don't know.

Baby Boomers were more likely to think the boats would restart (44 per cent), than Millennials who were more likely to believe they wouldn't restart (38-32 per cent).

A whopping 74 per cent of all voters didn't back Labor's plan to axe tax refunds for franking credits and 65 per cent didn't support the party's negative gearing changes.

Despite this, older voters are the only age bracket sticking by the Coalition.

More than one in three Australians in every single age bracket except aged 65 plus said they would vote for the ALP above the Coalition. Picture: iStock
More than one in three Australians in every single age bracket except aged 65 plus said they would vote for the ALP above the Coalition. Picture: iStock

Nearly half of Australians aged 65 and over said they would vote for the current government compared to just 28 per cent who want Labor.

The exclusive Australia Speaks survey reveals the Coalition is on track for an election bloodbath and could lose at least 15 seats.

Labor leads the Coalition 53 per cent to 47 per cent on a two-party preferred basis, according to the poll of 2224 Australians across the country from March 25 to 28.

The dramatic leadership spill to oust Malcolm Turnbull last year will be one of the factors that costs the government, the survey shows.

Twenty-eight per cent of respondents said they would be more likely to vote for a Coalition led by Mr Turnbull, while just 20 per cent said they preferred Mr Morrison.

Most Aussies will consider the spill when casting their vote, with less than half (43 per cent) saying it wouldn't impact their decision.

The survey also shows voters will abandon the major parties in droves.

More than one in four people (28 per cent) say they will vote for a minor party.

Older voters were the only age bracket sticking by the Coalition, with 48 per cent saying they would vote to keep the current government. Picture: Supplied
Older voters were the only age bracket sticking by the Coalition, with 48 per cent saying they would vote to keep the current government. Picture: Supplied

Half those voters say it's because they are "frustrated" with the major parties, while 45 per cent like the policies of minor parties.

Voters rank the Labor Party's performance in opposition roughly the same as the Coalition's in government, showing they probably don't see changing government as a risk.

Thirty per cent said the Coalition was competent, 22 per cent ranked its performance as "poor", 17 per cent said it was effective, 14 per cent said it was "terrible" and five per cent thought it was "excellent". The remaining 11 per cent were undecided.

Just six per cent said the Labor Party's performance had been "excellent", 27 per cent said it was competent, 16 per cent said it was effective, 27 per cent thought it was "poor" and 16 per cent thought it was "terrible".

GEN Y STILL UNDECIDED

Millennials are Australia's biggest swingers this election with a whopping 37 per cent undecided on where they'll cast their vote.

Both Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison will need to deliver a strong pitch to the nation's almost five million Gen Y voters, who could help tip the outcome when Australia goes to the polls in May.

The YouGov Galaxy poll also reveals 27 per cent of small business owners and retirees have no idea who they'll vote for yet.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of young families haven't made up their minds.

And one in four of voters in the bush - traditionally Coalition heartland - aren't convinced by either major party's platform yet.

Large sections of renters (34 per cent) and homeowners (28 per cent) are also undecided.

Large sections of renters and homeowner don’t know who they will vote for.
Large sections of renters and homeowner don’t know who they will vote for.

The sizeable swing vote across the nation will give the Coalition - which has suffered 50 consecutive Newspoll losses in a row - a fighting chance to win hearts and minds during what could be a five, six or seven-week campaign.

As it stands, Millennials are slightly more likely to back the Coalition (21 per cent), than Labor (19 per cent).

Sixteen per cent of young voters said they would vote Greens.

Only slightly more than a quarter (27 per cent) of regional voters back the Coalition, but just 18 per cent back Labor, indicating many could look to minor parties.

A third of young families in the poll said they would vote Labor, which is pitching hard to that demographic, compared to 25 per cent for the Coalition.

Small business owners were much more likely to vote for the current government (37 per cent).

Just 23 per cent said they would back Labor.

A third of retirees and homeowners said they would vote for the Coalition, which is pushing hard with a scare campaign about Labor's plans to axe tax refunds for franking credits.

The government is calling the plan Labor's "retiree tax".

Nevertheless, about one in four from these groups will vote Labor.

 

 

... and Labor leader Bill Shorten as “untrustworthy”. Picture: AAP
... and Labor leader Bill Shorten as “untrustworthy”. Picture: AAP