Shock To No One: Barnaby Joyce And Scott Morrison Are The Most Unpopular Leaders On Record

Barnaby Joyce was least popular of any party since 1987.

scott morrison

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At the time the Coalition lost the 2022 federal election, Scott Morrison and Barnaby Joyce were officially the most unpopular party leaders on record.

In a recent survey of 3,500 people by the Australian Election Study, Morrison scored just 3.6 on a 10 point scale — down from 5.1 after the 2019 election — while Joyce scored even lower with just 3/10. This makes Joyce the most unpopular leader since the survey began in 1987, while Morrison is now the lowest ranking Liberal leader in AES history.

For context, Andrew Peacock previously held the record with a 3.9 score, closely followed by Tony Abbott with 4.3.

According to the study’s findings, the major issues that impacted the Coalition’s score were climate action, disaster relief, improving the political system and racial issues.

This should come at no surprise considering climate inaction and the failure to implement a federal ICAC were two of the major issues raised about the Coalition in the lead-up to the election.

If we take a look at Scott Morrison’s 2021 track record, which kicked off with him asserting that January 26 “wasn’t a flash day” for colonisers either and included him pushing Australia’s stills in “digging stuff up” at a clean energy summit, the study’s findings largely confirm what we probably already knew about his declining popularity.

The study also found that under 55s and those with higher levels of education were most likely to have turned on the Coalition between the 2019 and 2022 elections.

Education and age were the big determining factors in the election, with more than a third of voters who finished high school switching their vote from the Coalition in 2019 to another party in 2022.

“More than one in three people [31.0 percent] who had completed year 12 and voted for the Coalition in 2019 voted for another party in 2022,” study co-author Nicholas Biddle said in the findings, noting that only 14.8 percent of voters who didn’t finish high school switched their vote.

As for where those votes went, young people were marginally more likely to vote Labor, but significantly more inclined to vote for the Greens.

Additionally, Labor scored more of the female vote, but the study found that the “difference is mostly due to a higher vote for the Greens”, which ultimately flowed back to Labor candidates on preferencing.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese ranked reasonably well in the survey with a score of 5.6.

While his score is lower than Bob Hawke (6.2), Kim Beazley (6.1) and Kevin Rudd (6.3), Albanese managed to rank higher than every other Labor leader since 1987 — including Bill Shorten, who was Labor’s least popular leader with a four.