PM Abbott slips in trust rankings

More people trust Malcolm Turnbull than Tony Abbott, according to new research that shows Australians’ faith in the prime minister has slipped since he took office.


Mr Abbott was 75th in last year’s Reader’s Digest trust rankings, published in June 2013, three months before the federal election.

The 2014 rankings put him 79th out of 100 well-known Australians – 10 spots behind Mr Turnbull, who sparked leadership speculation in early June after being spotted dining out with Senate powerbroker Clive Palmer.

Treasurer Joe Hockey was 77th on the list, which was compiled by surveying a representative sample of 1200 Australians.

While Mr Abbott’s trust ranking was not great, there was worse news for opposition leader Bill Shorten, who finished joint 81st with Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce.

It was another bad year for politicians generally, with the profession remaining rooted to the bottom of the trust rankings, along with salespeople, sex workers and call-centre staff.

Paramedics were the most trusted professionals for the 10th year in a row, followed by firefighters, rescue volunteers, nurses and doctors.

“Politicians have never fared well in the trust stakes but, in recent times, it seems Australians have been particularly unimpressed,” Reader’s Digest said.

Neurosurgeon and founder of Cure For Life Foundation Charlie Teo retained his status as Australia’s most trusted individual, while pioneering burns specialist Dr Fiona Wood retained the number two spot followed by cancer vaccine immunologist Ian Frazer.

It was a mixed year for business leaders with billionaire casino mogul James Packer finishing in 85th spot following his Bondi brawl with Nine Network boss David Gyngell.

Electronics entrepreneur Dick Smith ranked 10th.

Rolf Harris, currently standing trial for sexual assault in London, was 91st.

And the least trusted Australian?

Convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby was 99th on Reader’s Digest list, followed by her sister Mercedes in 100th.