Everybody Hates Tony Abbott (Part II)
In every state, every age group, among men and women, the city and the country, Tony Abbott’s dissatisfaction ratings are soaring.
And it’s not just because of voter backlash against the Budget. Australians far and wide are rejecting the government’s blatant lies and broken promises and are reeling over senior minister Scott Morrison’s silence over the fate of asylum seekers at sea.
Voter support for the government has plummeted by three points to 37 per cent, and even more heavily in the usually stronghold states of Western Australia and Queensland.
Government support has collapsed by six points to just 40 per cent in WA and by down four points to 37 per cent in Queensland.
There has also been a significant fall in backing from older voters, with support among those aged between 35 and 49 tumbling three points to 34 per cent, and among those 50 and older falling from 48 per cent to 45 per cent.
Tony Abbott has taken a body blow, with only 38 per cent of voters in the prime minister’s home state of NSW preferring him in the top job, compared to 42 per cent who say they’d back Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
The prime minister’s personal rating has fallen sharply in all states and every demographic group.
Basically, no one likes him.
Nationally, he is preferred as prime minister by 37 per cent of voters (a drop of four points) while nationwide approval for Mr Shorten has jumped from 36 per cent to 41 per cent.
Meanwhile the Abbott government has created a hub of 37 communication and social media specialists to monitor social media and offer strategic communications advice costing taxpayers almost $4.3 million a year.
Details released in Senate documents show the ‘‘Strategic Communications Branch’’ was implemented late last year, where the 37 staff are expected to oversee media within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, including Indigenous Affairs and the Office for Women.
According to the documents, staff are expected to monitor social media, offer strategic communications advice and create internal newsletters graphic design support, among other duties.
Details released to the Senate show the departments of Immigration, Border Protection and Australian Customs have 85 permanent and 10 other staff responsible for media monitoring, internal communication and public relations.