Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten can afford to smile after the latest Newspoll results.
Australian Opposition Leader Bill Shorten can afford to smile after the latest Newspoll results. LUKAS COCH

PM cops criticism for drastic poll

COMMENTATORS have given Malcolm Turnbull's government a brutal warning in the wake of a disastrous Newspoll that shows just how unpopular the Coalition is.

Sydney radio shock jock Alan Jones said the two-party preferred vote published by The Australian and showing the Coalition trailing Labor 54-46% was a sign the Liberal Party needed to dump Prime Minister Turnbull.

"How much longer will it take before Turnbull and (Attorney-General George) Brandis and those two windbags Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann ... realise this election is very winnable, but you have to change leaders and change policy,” he said.

Commentator and former Labor senator and numbers man Graham Richardson said the result was "devastating”.

"That's 20 seats,” he told the Nine Network. "It is a smashing massacre. This is no easy thing for them to ever get around, and all they have got in front of them is turmoil.”

The shock poll comes as the dual citizenship saga plaguing parliament has engulfed the government, with questions over the validity of at least three Coalition members.

A High Court decision over Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's recently discovered dual citizenship could threaten the government's majority.

The disastrous poll numbers follow an internal Coalition row over same-sex marriage that led the government to push ahead with a postal plebiscite that many members didn't want, and the PM's move to challenge energy retailers on power prices.

The Newspoll delivered good news to the Opposition, which climbed to its strongest primary vote this year, with core support at 38% - up from 36% two weeks ago.

The government's primary vote fell from 36% to 35% and Mr Turnbull lost ground to Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Mr Turnbull still has the lead as preferred PM, favoured by 43% of voters compared with 33% for Mr Shorten.

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten insists he is not a British citizen but is refusing to provide paperwork to confirm this as the dual-citizenship saga continues.

Mr Shorten, whose father was born in England, said he would not be releasing the documents to confirm he had renounced British citizenship.

"I did renounce my citizenship many years ago,” Mr Shorten said at a media conference on Sunday.

"I have to say: I don't feel any obligation to justify what I just said (not being a British citizen), because I know it to be true.”

Mr Shorten is believed to have renounced his citizenship in May 2006, ahead of the election on November 2007.

- Charis Chang