Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s bungling of COVID-19 vaccination and continued abrogation of responsibility to the states has seen a slim majority of Australians (51%) disapprove of his handling of the pandemic, according to new polling by Roy Morgan:
The 51% of Australians that disapprove of Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 and related issues have consistently brought up the ‘bungled’ vaccine rollout and also the perception Morrison is always ‘passing the blame’ to the states and others for anything that goes wrong and taking credit when it is the states that have done the greater part of the job dealing with COVID.
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Morrison is seen as not taking responsibility for anything and not being accountable for mistakes made in the Government’s handling of COVID-19 as well as not being honest about what has caused problems and being more interested in spinning a situation.
The Prime Minister’s disapproval is driven by under-35s (61%), whereas the majority of over-65s Australians (62%) approve of Scott Morrison’s handling of COVID.
The results also vary widely by state with lockdown-fatigued (and Labor-loving) Victorians (62%) driving the disapproval rating nationally:
Importantly, the swing state of Queensland has the lowest disapproval rating in the nation (45%), suggesting the damage at the ballot box may be less severe than the headline suggests.
Commenting on the result, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine noted:
“The biggest issues for those that disapprove of Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 centre around the vaccine roll-out with many calling it ‘bungled’, ‘slow’, ‘disorganised’, ‘delayed’, ‘inefficient’ and other disparaging terms critical of how it has progressed so far.
“The disapproval of Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 also extends to a perception he is always trying to ‘shift the blame’ or shirk his responsibility. This often means blaming the States or even foreign powers such as the EU – who have held up shipments of vaccines to Australia.
“This perception extends to the sense that Morrison is more worried about the perceptions of how he is seen rather than getting on with the job and solving the issue – ‘Scotty from Marketing’ is a derisive term used by some to critique the Prime Minister”.
With a year to go until the federal election, the success of the vaccine rollout and handling of border issues will play a key role in the Coalition’s electoral prospects. Scott Morrison will need to get his house in order, and fast.