States swing to Labor in grim poll for Turnbull
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States swing to Labor in grim poll for Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has suffered a backlash in Queensland while losing ground in NSW and Victoria, according to a new analysis that reveals a powerful swing to Labor ahead of five byelections this month.

Voters have swung to Labor in every mainland state since the last election, putting Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his party ahead of the government by 53 to 47 per cent in two-party terms.

The Fairfax/Ipsos results show the government’s support in Queensland in two-party terms has slumped from 54 per cent at the election to 48 per cent over the three months to the end of June.

Malcolm Turnbull has held his lead over Bill Shorten in every state as well as nationally.

Malcolm Turnbull has held his lead over Bill Shorten in every state as well as nationally.Credit:AAP

The results highlight the challenge for Mr Turnbull in the Queensland seat of Longman, where the government must defy the state trend to have any chance of winning the seat from Labor on July 28.

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Senator Hanson has attacked Mr Shorten and vowed to put Labor behind the Coalition in preferences at the byelection, but she has stopped short of saying this would be put on how-to-vote cards at polling places.

One Nation gained 9.4 per cent of the primary vote in Longman at the 2016 election, and more than half its voters gave their second preferences to Labor, which won the seat by a margin of just 0.8 per cent.

While One Nation preferences could boost the Coalition at the byelection, this may not be enough to offset the strong increase in Labor's primary vote across Queensland, if the statewide trend is repeated in the electorate.

The race for the Tasmanian seat of Braddon appears much tighter, however, with the new findings showing Labor leads the Coalition by a single percentage point after preferences in Tasmania, the closest result of any state.

The quarterly analysis, conducted exclusively for Fairfax Media, confirms the horror slide for the Coalition since the last election in the most-populous states, where the government must recover ground if it is to retain power at the election due by May.

The Coalition would lose as many as 18 seats if the latest poll was reflected at a general election, given the government is trailing Labor in Queensland by 48 to 52 per cent, in NSW by 47 to 53 per cent and in Victoria by 44 to 56 per cent in two-party terms.

If replicated at an election, this would see the government lose Queensland seats such as Capricornia, Forde, Flynn, Dickson, Petrie, Dawson, Bonner, Leichhardt and Brisbane. The casualties would include Peter Dutton, the Home Affairs Minister, who holds Dickson by a margin of 1.6 per cent.

The swings against the government in NSW, if replicated at an election, would see it lose Gilmore, Robertson, Page and Banks.

In Victoria it would lose Chisholm, Dunkley, La Trobe and Corangamite. It could also lose the West Australian seat of Hasluck if the state polling results were repeated seat-by-seat in each state.

Mr Turnbull has kept his lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister in every state and at a national level, backed by 52 per cent of voters compared to 32 per cent for the Opposition Leader.

Mr Shorten is regarded more favourably in his home state of Victoria, where Mr Turnbull leads by 49 per cent to 34 per cent as preferred prime minister.

This is offset by stronger polling for Mr Turnbull as preferred prime minister in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

The quarterly analysis compiles the results from 3,566 respondents in Fairfax/Ipsos polls over the three months to the end of June, with a margin of error of 1.6 per cent for national results and 2.9 per cent for some state results.

Victoria is the Coalition’s weakest state, followed by NSW and then South Australia and Queensland.

In Western Australia, however, the government has a strong lead over Labor of 53 per cent to 47 per cent in two-party terms.

The government's lead is narrower than the result of 55 per cent to 45 per cent at the last election, highlighting the risk for Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, who holds the seat of Hasluck by a margin of 2 per cent.

The results for Tasmania shows the government trails Labor by 48 per cent to 49 per cent in two-party terms, but this is based on a small sample size.

David Crowe is the chief political correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.