The latest Essential Research poll finds the parties locked in their post-carbon tax stasis, with the Coalition steady on 47 per cent, Labor steady on 35 per cent, the Greens up one to 10 per cent and two-party preferred steady on 54-46. The survey also includes the monthly approval rating, and finds both recovering from poor showings last time: Julia Gillard up four on approval to 41 per cent and down two on disapproval to 48 per cent, Tony Abbott up six on approval to 42 per cent and down four on disapproval 44 per cent (a trend replicated elsewhere), and Gillard’s preferred prime minister rating has narrowed fractionlly from 42-33 to 43-35. Further questions on the budget find 45 per cent believe the economy to be headed in the right direction – down six on post-2010 budget – and wrong direction up four to 29 per cent. Respondents were also asked about world terrorism and the death of Osama bin Laden, and a further question about our involvement in Afghanistan found opposition continuing to harden: those favouring an increase in troop numbers have dropped from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, those favouring withdrawal are up from 47 per cent to 56 per cent, while support for the existing commitment is steady on 30 per cent.

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