The Australian reports the latest Newspoll has Labor leading 52-48, from primary votes of 38 per cent Labor (steady), 41 per cent Coalition (down one) and 14 per cent Greens (up one). There’s also that rare thing – an interesting finding on an attitudinal question, this being a plunge in the Coalition’s lead as “better to manage the economy” from 12 per cent to 1 per cent. Chief suspects: Labor’s Hewson-Costello ads and the Coalition’s costings confusion, much of which would have escaped the Sunday-to-Thursday time frame of the great Galaxy mega-poll.

UPDATE: Full results here. As in Nielsen, Julia Gillard’s personal ratings have improved: approval up one to 44 per cent and disapproval down three to 38 per cent, but Tony Abbott’s have as well, off the base of what was probably an unflattering result last week: approval up two to 43 per cent, disapproval down three to 46 per cent. Preferred prime minister is essentially unchanged, with both Gillard and Abbott up a point to 50 per cent and 35 per cent respectively. However, the poll confirms a general trend of the Labor vote being slightly “softer” than the Coalition. As well as closing the economy gap from 47-35 to 44-43, Labor has also pulled further ahead as best party to handle climate change, from 33-26 to 35-22, while the Coalition lead on asylum seekers has widened incrementally from 42-29 to 43-29.

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