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Australian PM Turnbull loses 30th straight poll, faces leadership pressure

Australian PM Turnbull loses 30th straight poll, faces leadership pressure

Liberal MPs are playing down the significance of Malcolm Turnbull's 30th Newspoll loss as his deputy backs him to lead the party to the election.

Mr Abbott acknowledged being in government was hard. "I regret being a political commentator", Mr Turnbull told Miranda Devine Live on Monday afternoon.

"It was only a couple of days ago another published news media poll showed a solid majority of voters, 62 per cent in fact, want Malcolm to stay on as the Liberal Party leader", Mr O'Dowd said.

"What they don't want is a Shorten government", he told Sky News.

"It's not unusual for incumbent governments in between elections being behind in the polls, I mean we're not actually that far behind, truth be told", he told ABC radio.

"One of the differences between me and some of my colleagues is that if I've got something to say I don't ring up a journalist and whisper poison into their ears, I say it upfront, openly and I put my name to it", Mr Abbott said.

Peter Dutton told 3AW he had been honest about his ambition to be prime minister but he would not be acting to topple Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull, who noted the Abbott government had lost 30 Newspolls when he took the leadership in 2015, will be in Sydney on Monday to face inevitable questions about his leadership.

Mr Abbott is a member of the so-called Monash Group, a newly formed gathering of conservative backbenchers, calling for taxpayers' money to be invested in a new coal power station.

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Its energy and climate change policy is a "disaster", she added, and there has been a "big fail" on NBN.

She said that under the Turnbull government, billions of dollars have been cut from schools, universities, vocational education and hospitals while 100,000 pensioners have lost or are having their pension reduced.

Although Australia is a year away from a general election, the Newspoll leaves Turnbull facing questions about his future. "It's got to be about our country, what's best for our country", Mr Abbot said, as he embarked on the second day of the "Pollie Pedal" charity bike ride, as it moves through the La Trobe Valley.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd used the milestone to hit out at both party leaders, accusing Mr Shorten of being a "beneficiary" of the 2010 leadership spill that saw Julia Gillard replace Mr Rudd as prime minister.

I certainly wish I hadn't referred to 30 Newspolls because, while it was not telling anybody anything they didn't know, it certainly is proving a distraction from the real issues we're dealing with today.

"In 87 Newspolls I fell behind once".

Asked if he would call a leadership vote if he recorded a 30th Newspoll loss, he said: "No".

Mr Rudd wrote that both Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten would be "long gone" if the same standards had been applied to them.