Morrison Slips in Polls Amid Countdown to Australia Election

(Bloomberg) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has slipped further behind in opinion polls, which point to victory for the main opposition Labor party in elections to be held in May.

The Liberal-National coalition government is trailing Labor by an 8-point margin, 46 percent to 54 percent, according to a Newspoll published in the Australian newspaper on Monday. That compares with a 6-point gap two weeks ago.

Although not formally called, the election campaign is effectively underway, with taxation policy, climate change and border security emerging as the key battlegrounds. Morrison will look to the federal budget, to be unveiled on April 2, to turn around his fortunes as government finances head back to surplus for the first time in a decade.

A flurry of senior Liberal lawmakers, including Defense Minister Christopher Pyne, have announced they will retire at the election, fueling perceptions that Morrison’s government is heading for defeat.

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