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PM change won't affect vote: poll

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December 05, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull remains preferred prime minister a new poll shows.

Most voters say a new Liberal leader wouldn't change the way they vote at the next federal election, a new poll has found.

The coalition's poor showing in opinion polls since just after the 2016 election has some speculating about the benefits of a leadership change.

But an Essential poll published on Tuesday found 54 per cent of voters believed it would make no difference to whether they voted for the return of the Turnbull government.

A further 18 per cent said they would be more likely and 13 per cent said less likely.

The poll gave Labor a 55-45 per cent two-party preferred edge over the Liberal-National coalition.

Malcolm Turnbull was rated the best leader of the Liberals (21 per cent), followed by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (19 per cent).

Among Liberal voters, Mr Turnbull was the most popular option (40 per cent).

Opinion was divided on whether the Liberals and Nationals should be more independent of each other, with 34 per cent urging a more separate approach while 38 per cent endorsed the coalition.

Liberal senator Jane Hume was upbeat about the government's prospects on Tuesday, after deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce retained his NSW seat at a weekend by-election.

"The government returns to parliament this week with a bit of pep in its step and a bit of glide in its slide after a resounding victory in the New England by-election which was an endorsement for the coalition," she told reporters.

Meanwhile, Labor is seeking a bipartisan approach on how to deal with MPs with citizenship clouds over their heads.

ACT Labor senator Katy Gallagher disclosed on Monday she did not receive UK citizenship renunciation approval until well after nominations closed for the 2016 election.

Her lower house colleagues have also lodged their citizenship and family history details, which could be published as early as Tuesday afternoon.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has asked the prime minister to work with the opposition on a process to deal with the disclosures.

If the coalition unilaterally refers Labor MPs to the High Court to test their eligibility under section 44 of the constitution, which bans dual nationals, it could set a dangerous precedent for future governments.

Close scrutiny will be given to the disclosures of Labor MPs Susan Lamb and Justine Keay and independent Rebekha Sharkie.

The lower house's sitting hours have been extended on Tuesday to midnight to deal with same-sex marriage laws.

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