The latest weekly Essential Research survey finds the two parties still gridlocked at 50-50. Both parties are up a point on the primary vote – the Coalition to 45 per cent and Labor to 40 per cent – with the Greens down to 9 per cent. Both leaders’ personal ratings have improved slightly since before the election: Julia Gillard’s approval is down a point to 45 per cent and her disapproval down three to 37 per cent, while Tony Abbott is up two to 43 per cent and down seven to 37 per cent. However, Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is almost unchanged, up from 46-35 to 47-35. Fewer respondents now rate an election within 12 months as desirable – it’s now 43 per cent all, compared with 52 per cent supporting and 33 per cent opposed a fortnight ago – and there also fewer who deem it likely, although it’s still a clear majority at 59 per cent (down from 70 per cent a fortnight ago). More voters thought the media did a good (32 per cent) than a poor (23 per cent) job reporting the election and its aftermath, while Coalition supporters were found to be more likely to believe the media wasn’t fair to their side.

UPDATE: Some fine print reading from Bernard Keane in Crikey:

But in the wake of Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor deciding to back Labor, there’s now a much stronger party split on that issue, with 75% of Liberal voters calling for another election, compared to 65% a fortnight ago, whereas support for another election among Labor and Green voters has fallen dramatically, with more than 70% of Labor and Green voters not wanting another election.

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