As the Turnbull Government sells its first budget since last year’s Federal Election win, a new poll indicates Labor ahead in Western Australia’s battleground seat of Pearce.
Pearce is currently held by Social Services Minister Christian Porter with a 3.6 per cent margin. A WAOP poll of 712 voters on 26th and 27th April recorded a 5.8 per cent swing to Labor, putting it ahead of the Liberals with 52.2 per cent of the two party preferred vote.
Should these results be reflected across Western Australia at the next Federal Election, Labor would pick up the seats of Hasluck and Swan, in addition to Pearce.
Commissioned by WA strategic communications firm, Campaign Capital, the Pearce poll revealed an 11 per cent drop in the Liberal primary vote, with 10.4 per cent of voters indicating they would vote One Nation.
Campaign Capital principal Daniel Smith said financial and employment insecurity were key drivers behind a mood for change within the electorate.
“The federal seat of Pearce takes in a number of the outer suburbs that swung heavily at the recent state election, where voters were attracted to Mark McGowan’s strong message on jobs,” he said.
“Our poll found people are doing it increasingly tough in the post-boom environment, with 46 per cent of people saying they are worse off compared to the same time last year, and only nine per cent saying they are better off."
Mr Smith said the polling revealed the Turnbull Government was sending mixed messages to an electorate worried about jobs and finances.
“Our poll found 61 per cent of voters supported the Turnbull Government’s decision to abolish and replace the 457 skilled migration visa,” he said.
“On the other hand, 62 per cent of people opposed the decision of the Fair Work Commission to cut penalty rates for weekend workers, a move which Mr Turnbull has supported.
“Neither the Turnbull Government nor industry has succeeded in convincing voters of the merits of cutting company tax rates for big companies, with our poll revealing 67 per cent of voters think big companies pay too little tax in Australia.
“The argument that a more competitive company tax rate would attract industry to Australia and create jobs is being undermined by a public perception that big companies don’t actually do enough to create local jobs.
“Our poll found only 19.5 per cent of voters believed big companies did enough to create local jobs and support local businesses.
“It makes sense that voters would question the logic of providing financial incentives for companies to relocate to Australia, if they don’t believe those companies will create jobs in Australia.”
Mr Smith said the research pointed to the federal political landscape being increasingly dominated by a debate about how to create jobs.
“When we asked people whether taxes paid to government or the creation of local jobs was the most important benefit big companies could deliver to the community, 65 per cent of voters said jobs and only 18 per cent said taxes.
“This is the mood within the electorate that Mr Turnbull is trying to tap into, with his recent initiatives on skilled migration and domestic gas supplies.
“With the community viewing big companies as not doing enough to create local jobs or paying enough tax, we will likely see more policies like this in the lead up to the next election, and beyond.”
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