For the second week in a row Essential Research has Labor clawing back a point on two-party preferred, from 53-47 to 52-48. The primary votes however are little changed: Labor up a point to 37 per cent, the Coalition steady on 46 per cent and the Greens on 10 per cent. However, a question on the government’s carbon pricing announcement find greater opposition than a fortnight ago, with 34 per cent support (down four) and 51 per cent opposition (up two). Forty per cent believe an early election should be called over the tax – mostly Coalition supporters, many of whom were keen on a new election to begin with – with 44 per cent opposed. A question on preferred form of compensation has 39 per cent favouring direct payment, 33 per cent an income tax cut and 13 per cent and cut to the GST rate.

More happy polling for Kevin Rudd, whose performance as Foreign Minister has 61 per cent approval and 19 per cent disapproval. Fifty-seven per cent approve his intervention in Libya, with only 22 per cent disapproving. There is also a question on the importance of Australia’s relationship with various countries, in which every single country has had an increase on “very important” since the question was previously asked in mid-November. New Zealand and Japan in particular appear to have recorded sympathy votes.

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