The latest Newspoll indicates that on a two-party preferred basis, the coalition trails Labor 52 to 48.
The prime minister’s personal approval rating has stayed steady for the second fortnight in a row at 37 per cent, after falling eight points in the first survey of the year, according to the Newspoll conducted for The Australian.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese’s rating has fallen from 46 to 43 per cent.
Since Christmas, the prime minister has faced criticism over his handling of the bushfire crisis, especially his decision to take a family holiday in Hawaii in the middle of it.
In the past two weeks the prime minister has been under further pressure after an auditor-general’s report was critical of Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie’s handling of the Community Sport Infrastructure Program.
McKenzie has been accused of pork barrelling in marginal seats ahead of the May federal election
However, an investigation by the prime minister’s own department found there was a “statistically similar ratio” when comparing the rate of grant approvals in marginal seats to the rate in other seats.
The department’s report found McKenzie breached the ministerial code of conduct because she had two undeclared conflicts of interest relating to sports grants.
Late on Sunday, McKenzie resigned from cabinet and will also stand down as the National Party deputy leader.