Scott Morrison's Pandemic Response Causes Drop of Coalition's Primary Vote for the First Time

Melissa-Jane Nguyen

Resolve ran the first main opinion poll for 2022 that resulted in the Coalition dropping from 39 percent to 34 percent, with Labor in front for the first time at 35 percent in the primary vote.

The government's handling of the recent surge of Covid-19 cases in Australia has been controversial as decisions have centred around an attempt at reviving the economy at the cost of the public and the health system.

There's been a dire lack of rapid antigen tests (RATs) available for the general public combined with unregulated price gouging by retailers.

When asked on January 3 whether the government will reconsider handing out free RATs, Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded:

We've invested hundreds of billions of dollars getting Australia through this crisis. But we're now in a stage of the pandemic, where you can't just make everything free because when someone tells you they want to make something free, someone's always going to pay for it and it's going to be you. 

Furthermore, it was reported that during a Hillsong (of which Scott Morrison is a known member) event that took place (that appeared much like a music festival with large crowds despite claims to the contrary during a statewide ban on singing and dancing) in January, each attendee was given a free RAT, and if an attendee got a positive result, they were given another free RAT just to be sure.

At a time when the general public are scrambling to find even one RAT.

Despite calls for Hillsong to be fined for the singing and dancing that took place at the event, NSW Police attended and made the call not to issue any infringements. Not only was this seen as a shock decision by the general public, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Health Minister Brad Hazzard expressed their disdain.

While that may not directly be Scott Morrison's failure, his well-known ties to the controversial Hillsong Church and their ability to avoid fines for singing and dancing while there's a clear ban on singing and dancing, isn't a good look and has resulted in outrage across the state.

These latest issues appear to be part of what has resulted in the Coalition's drop in the opinion polls, but according to the same Resolve poll, Scott Morrison is still the preferred prime minister at 38 percent, to Labor leader Anthony Albanese's 31 percent.

With the federal election due to take place in coming months, only time will tell whether Scott Morrison can retain the top spot or whether the latest poll is an indication that he's halfway down a slippery slope with no way to climb back up.

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An Aussie freelance writer and editor writing about parenting, life and current events in Australia, and everything in between.

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