Dutton is Australia’s least trusted MP: Roy Morgan

Kat Wong and Alex Mitchell |

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has topped a poll of Australia’s least trusted politicians.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has topped a poll of Australia’s least trusted politicians.

Peter Dutton has pipped a former prime minister with a predilection for secret titles and a mining magnate with a passion for the Titanic to take out the title of Australia’s least trusted politician.

The federal opposition leader heads pollster Roy Morgan’s 2023 distrust list, beating out Scott Morrison for the dubious honour despite Mr Morrison secretly appointing himself to five ministerial positions.

The pollster gave a clip to billionaire Clive Palmer, noting he would be Australia’s third most distrusted lawmaker but for the fact he’s retired from politics.

Mr Palmer, who had the highest distrust score in the March 2022 survey, once dreamed of building a modern-day replica of the Titanic and announced a dinosaur theme park populated by more than 160 animatronics, aptly named Palmersaurus.

But it appears Mr Dutton has a way to go with voters, even though he’s been doing better recently in other voter surveys like Newspoll and Resolve.

“The very high levels of distrust in Peter Dutton, and others in the opposition make it unlikely they would be able to win government in the current climate,” Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said.

“His scores are moving very close to Scott Morrison’s just weeks before the coalition suffered a disastrous defeat at the 2022 federal election.”

Scott Morrison
Former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison is Australia’s second most distrusted politician. (Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS)

But it’s not all roses and sunshine for the government.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has suffered a shocking fall from grace, as the Labor party’s trust slumps.

In 2022, there were no Labor politicians inside the most distrusted list’s top 10.

A year and a half later, there are 10 inside the top 21 including retired premiers Annastacia Palaszczuk from Queensland and Daniel Andrews from Victoria, and NSW leader Chris Minns.

Ms Levine said the levels of distrust among the top two leaders especially was less personal and more ideological than in previous polls.

As the prime minister dropped from the second most trusted politician to the third most distrusted, his treasurer’s fortunes have surged.

Jim Chalmers is now the nation’s third most trusted politician after getting Australia’s finances back in the black.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong took the most trusted title for a second straight year, beating the Country Liberal Party’s Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price.

“The leaders are proxies for the great political divide we are seeing emerge on so many issues – the voice and Gaza being the most high profile,” Ms Levine said.

Elsewhere, former Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce topped the list of Australia’s most distrusted business leaders, sneaking past West Australian mining heiress Gina Rinehart and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who is a US citizen.

Roy Morgan gathered the data from an SMS poll of more than 1000 Australians over the age of 18 conducted between 16 to 20 November.