Australian Voters Reduce Support for Labor Government Amid Rising Living Costs

Australian voters are reducing support for Labor amid rising living costs, with 55% struggling to pay major expenses. Labor's primary vote has fallen to 30%, while the Coalition's has risen to 36%, resulting in a 50-50 tie after preferences.

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Geeta Pillai
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Australian Voters Reduce Support for Labor Government Amid Rising Living Costs

Australian Voters Reduce Support for Labor Government Amid Rising Living Costs

The 2024 Resolve Political Monitor survey has revealed that Australian voters are reducing support for the Labor government amid rising living costs, with 55% of respondents struggling to pay for major expenses. Labor's primary vote has fallen to 30%, while the Coalition's has risen to 36%, resulting in a 50-50 tie after preferences.

Despite voters approving of Labor's plan to use taxpayer subsidies for clean energy projects, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has failed to convert this support into increased backing for the Labor party. The latest poll suggests that if an election were held today, Labor would maintain power but without any boost from the announcement of its signature manufacturing policy.

The burden of rising costs is felt across income levels, with 65% of low-income workers and 50% of high-income respondents saying they would struggle to pay for a larger expense. Voters identified groceries and utility bills as their top concerns, and 24% said the May budget should focus on putting downward pressure on inflation and interest rates.

Why this matters: The survey results reflect the political pressure on the government due to rising prices and interest rates, particularly around grocery costs and energy bills. The upcoming federal budget will be a critical test for the Labor government as it seeks to address cost of living concerns while maintaining voter support.

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek acknowledged that people are struggling, but blamed the previous government's policies on wages. Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said people are "fed up" with Labor, arguing they are not focused on the issues affecting voters.

Despite the drop in Labor's primary vote, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese remains the preferred leader over Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. The survey found that 48% of voters prefer Albanese compared to 35% for Dutton.

The government has flagged a focus on cost of living measures in the upcoming May budget, with Treasurer Jim Chalmers promising further relief "if it's affordable." The 2024/25 budget will be handed down on May 14, and will be a pivotal moment for the Labor government as it seeks to address the concerns of Australian voters while maintaining its policy agenda.

Key Takeaways

  • Labor's primary vote falls to 30%, Coalition rises to 36% in 50-50 tie.
  • 55% of Australians struggle to pay major expenses amid rising living costs.
  • Voters concerned about groceries, utilities; 24% want budget to tackle inflation.
  • Albanese preferred over Dutton, but Labor's policy support not translating to votes.
  • Upcoming budget critical for Labor to address cost of living while maintaining agenda.