Prime Minister Scott Morrison with CMO Brendan Murphy during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison with CMO Brendan Murphy during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage

ScoMo's approval surges amid pandemic

Scott Morrison has received a surge of support for his leadership of the coronavirus pandemic and is now the most popular thing about the Australian government, according to a new poll.

The flight to certainty amid the crisis has produced an unpreced­ented turnaround in support for a prime minister, with Mr Morrison recording the highest satisfaction rating since Kevin Rudd at the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, according to an exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian.

The newspaper reports Mr Morrison's status as preferred prime minister has also rebounded by 11 points in three weeks. He now leads Anthony Albanese by 53 to 29 on the back of the second and third economic rescue packages and early indications that strict ­social-distancing measures may be slowing the spread of the virus.

The government has also returned to a dominant electoral position, rising two points to 42 per cent in the primary vote to Labor's 34 and leading Labor 51 to 49 on a two-party preferred basis.

The poll found wide support for the JobKeeper program, with 90 per cent of Coalition voters backing it, followed by 88 per cent of Greens voters and 84 per cent of Labor supporters.

Satisfaction with the federal and state governments' economic response to the crisis rose from 33 per cent to 47 per cent.

Earlier this year, Mr Morrison was slammed for his handling of Australia's bushfire crisis, after going on an overseas holiday with his family as the country burned.

Mr Morrison previously defended the government's response to the devastating fires as "extraordinary" but conceded he'd do things differently in hindsight.

"I would not have taken that trip knowing what I know now," he told ABC Insiders host David Speers in January.

"One of the great difficulties in any job, as you know, David, is balancing your work and family responsibilities. It had been a very busy year.

"I'd made a promise to my kids and we'd taken forward that break, as I explained when I came back and I thought I was very upfront about my contrition on that."



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