Scott Morrison holds dominant lead over Anthony Albanese

Scott Morrison has surged to his highest approval rating since becoming prime minister as the country prepares for its COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

A Newspoll conducted for The Australian shows Mr Morrison consolidating his dominant position as Australians’ preferred leader after weeks of speculation over Anthony Albanese’s Labor leadership.

Mr Morrison extended his lead over Mr Albanese to 61-26 as preferred prime minister, the biggest gap between the pair since August.

Approval of Mr Morrison’s performance as leader climbed to its highest point since he became prime minister, rising one point to 64 per cent.

But the polling does not factor in the impact of his government’s much criticised handling of Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’ rape allegation

RELATED: Higgins requests to reopen police investigation into alleged rape

Mr Albanese’s net approval rating (minus 7) slumped to its lowest point since November and its joint lowest since becoming Labor leader.

His satisfaction rate dropped three points to 38 per cent, while 45 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with his performance.

It came despite Labor and the Coalition remaining locked in a 50-50 battle on a two-party preferred basis and with the opposition’s primary vote climbing slightly to 37 per cent.

The Coalition recorded a 42 per cent primary vote. Labor’s five-point deficit was its tightest since August.

Support for the Greens (10 per cent) and One Nation (3 per cent) remained steady, while other independents held an 8 per cent primary vote collectively.

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