The sample size (550 respondents) and margin of error (about 4.2 per cent) are such that you would want to treat it with caution, but a new Morgan phone poll has turned up remarkably poor results for the government: Labor’s primary vote is on just 30 per cent against 47 per cent for the Coalition and 13.5 per cent for the Greens, with the Coalition leading on two-party preferred 55-45. The poll was conducted over Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

UPDATE: Morgan has issued further data on personal ratings which shows Julia Gillard failing to take the hit on personal ratings you would expect from the numbers on voting intention, which further inclines me to treat the poll with suspicion. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is 48 per cent with 39 per cent disapproval, while Tony Abbott’s numbers are 48 per cent and 41 per cent. Gillard holds a 46-40 lead as preferred prime minister. Respondents were also asked to nominate their preferred leaders for the Labor and Liberal parties. Julia Gillard is favoured as Labor leader by 33 per cent against 20 per cent for Kevin Rudd, compared with 35 per cent and 25 per cent shortly after the federal election. Malcolm Turnbull remains favoured ahead of Tony Abbott as Liberal leader overall, by 31 per cent (down a point) to 23 per cent (up two). In both cases supporters of the party were happier with the incumbent. If Gillard were removed from the picture, 27 per cent would favour Rudd, 14 per cent Wayne Swan, 13 per cent Stephen Smith and 11 per cent Bill Shorten. Without Abbott, 39 per cent would favour Turnbull, 30 per cent Joe Hockey and 11 per cent Julie Bishop.

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