Aus PM’s approval rating falls amid sexism crisis

Canberra, March 29 (IANS) The approval rating of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has fallen to a 12-month low amid allegations of misogyny and harassment in the government, a new poll revealed on Monday.

According to the latest Newspoll published by The Australian newspaper, Morrison’s approval rating has fallen from 62 per cent in mid-March to 55 per cent, while the percentage of voters dissatisfied with his performance rose from 34 per cent to 40 per cent, reports Xinhua news agency.

It marks the first time in more than a year that Morrison’s approval rating has fallen below 60 per cent.

The opposition Labor Party leads Morrison’s coalition 52-48 on a two-party preferred basis.

However, Morrison has maintained a comfortable lead over Labor leader Anthony Albanese.

Fifty-two per cent of respondents to the poll identified Morrison as the better leader, down from 56 per cent earlier in March, compared to 32 per cent for Albanese.

The poll was taken as Morrison faced severe backlash over his response to the sexual assault crisis that has engulfed the federal government.

The crisis began in February when former government staffer Brittany Higgins went public with allegations that she was raped by a colleague in the office of Defence Minister Linda Reynolds in March 2019.

Both Reynolds and Attorney-General Christian Porter, who has been accused of a historical rape which he has denied, spent much of March on medical leave and are facing demotions from their high-level ministerial portfolios.

Government MP Andrew Laming recently announced he would quit politics at the next election after he was accused of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Laming’s inappropriate behaviour was “absolutely unacceptable”.

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