Victorian voters continue to support Daniel Andrews despite lengthy lockdown

Despite the lengthy coronavirus lockdown and costly second wave, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews still has the majority of the state’s voters on side.

A new poll shows Mr Andrews maintains solid support.

It may prompt some soul-searching from the opposition.

Having fronted the cameras every day since early July, 52 per cent of Victorians approve of Mr Andrews’ performance as Premier while 33 per cent disapprove.

Not surprisingly, Mr Andrews’ approval rate is much higher among Labor supporters at 82 per cent.

Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media at the daily COVID-19 briefing. (Photograph by Chris Hopkins)

“The polling is suggesting government support is holding up, notwithstanding all the problems that have come along,” Monash University’s Dr Nick Economou said.

Forty-nine per cent of Victorians are satisfied with how the state government has handled the pandemic while 40 per cent are not.

But despite that, just 15 per cent of respondents approve of Michael O’Brien’s performance as Opposition Leader while 39 per cent disapprove.

Even among coalition supporters, Mr O’Brien’s approval is just 27 per cent.

The poll found 16 per cent of Victorians are satisfied with how the Opposition has responded to the pandemic while 44 per cent are not.

“I suspect the core problem for Mr O’Brien is that he and his colleagues have not been able to articulate what alternative they would have,” Dr Economou said.

Mr Andrews remains well ahead as preferred Premier, leading Mr O’Brien 53 per cent to 18 per cent.

That’s despite half of Victorians blaming the state government’s hotel quarantine program for the state’s second wave.

Forty per cent point the finger at people not taking the risk seriously enough while just 2 per cent think it was just bad luck.

“When we’re blaming people, we tend to blame outsiders that we don’t perceive as following the rules,” RMIT’s Meg Elkins said.

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Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton is held in higher regard than the state’s politicians.

Fifty-seven per cent of people approve of his performance while 20 per cent do not.

With the lockdown lifting tomorrow night, Mr Andrews is arguably through the hardest part of this second wave.

Mr Andrews is still facing some significant challenges but he’s in a competitive position two years out from an election.

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