Australians overwhelmingly want Malcolm Turnbull's government to negotiate with Labor and Nick Xenophon to get its agenda through Parliament rather than turn to either the Greens or One Nation for support.
New polling shows the public would much prefer the government to compromise with Bill Shorten's opposition or the centrist Nick Xenophon Team rather than court the votes of the more extreme Left or Right parties.
But there's a catch: the government must have either Greens or One Nation support to pass bills that Labor opposes. When it comes down to a choice between the two, a majority of Australians would prefer the government to sit down with the Greens - but Coalition voters would prefer it deal with One Nation.
The Research Now online poll of 1426 people, commissioned by the Australia Institute think tank, asked respondents to rank the government's negotiating options - Labor, the Nick Xenophon Team, the Greens, One Nation and the other crossbenchers such as Jacqui Lambie and Derryn Hinch - from one to five.
More than half - 54 per cent - put Labor as their first or second option.
But while One Nation's national vote was higher than Nick Xenophon's on July 2, the poll suggests more Australians want the government to deal with the populist South Australian than the firebrand Pauline Hanson.
Forty-two per cent of people ranked Senator Xenophon in their top two, compared to 29 per cent for Ms Hanson's team.
Just 31 per cent put Senator Xenophon at the bottom of their list, while 57 per cent put One Nation at their bottom of theirs.
Only one in 10 people said Labor or Xenophon should be the government's last resort.
The Greens were the only other party more likely to end up at the bottom of a respondent's list than the top. Thirty-six percent of people put the Greens in their top two, but almost half - 47 per cent - put them in the bottom two.
However the Greens had greater net support than One Nation, with -9 per cent compared to One Nation's -28 per cent.
The government got its $6 billion budget savings package through Parliament last month after compromising with Labor.
Its other post-election win in Parliament was legislation allowing it to intervene in the Country Firefighters Association dispute in Victoria, which is secured with crossbench support, including One Nation.
The poll was national poll was conducted last month with representative samples by gender, age and location.
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