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New polls ahead of Dunkley by-election spell trouble for Anthony Albanese

Ellen RansleyNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Anthony Albanese says he will take responsibility no matter the outcome at this Saturday’s by-election, as a new poll shows the Liberals have a narrow lead going into the final week of the campaign.

The seat, which takes in Frankston and surrounding outer-Melbourne, was held by Peta Murphy, who died from cancer last year.

The latest Newspoll on Sunday night found Labor’s changes to stage three tax cuts had done little to change the tide of support for the government, with their primary vote falling to 33 per cent to the Coalition’s 36 per cent.

A Resolve poll in Nine newspapers showed similar results with the Liberals on 37 and Labor on 34.

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Then on Monday, separate MyGov and YouGov polls both found the Liberals were leading Labor 51 per cent to 49 per cent on a two-party basis in Dunkley.

PRIME MINISTER FRANKSTON
Camera IconAnthony Albanese said Labor candidate for Dunkley Jodie Belyea would continue the legacy of the late Peta Murphy. NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui Credit: News Corp Australia

YouGov’s director of polling Amir Daftari said the poll showed a “significant swing” away from Labor, but said a lot could happen in the last week.

Ms Murphy won the 2022 election with a 6.3 per cent margin, and the Liberals are looking to shave at least 3.5 percentage points off.

But should Labor perform worse than expected, the Prime Minister said he would take responsibility “whatever the result”.

“I’m the Prime Minister, I take responsibility for everything that my government is involved with. That is the job,” he told 7 News.

Mr Albanese said he was hopeful Dunkley would vote for the government, saying Labor’s candidate Jodie Belyea would continue Ms Murphy’s legacy.

“What (Ms Murphy) wanted was what Jodie Belyea wants, which is to look after people on cost of living, to strengthen Medicare, to make sure we have a future made in Australia and to deliver on infrastructure,” he told Channel 7 on Monday.

“We’ll continue … to work each and every day to make a difference.”

Newspoll Resuts

Labor’s efforts to retain the seat have come up against the actions of right-wing lobby group Advance.

The group, which rose to prominence during last year’s Voice to Parliament campaign, took out a full-page ad in the local newspaper last week claiming Mr Albanese had “unlocked the doors of immigration detention and let loose 149 criminals”.

The ad referred to the group of former detainees released after last year’s landmark NZYQ High Court decision, including convicted rapists, pedophiles and murderers.

“There are 40 in Victoria,” the ad said.

“Tell us, prime minister, how many are in Dunkley? We demand you tell us before March 2.”

Last week Mr Albanese slammed the ad as “misinformation” and branded it a scare tactic.

“They spread a whole lot of misinformation and there’s misinformation as part of that ad.

“And it’s unfortunate because I don’t want to see Australia go down the American road where there’s so much polarisation.”

Originally published as New polls ahead of Dunkley by-election spell trouble for Anthony Albanese

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