GhostWhoVotes reports that the latest Nielsen poll has the Coalition leading 52-48 on two-party preferred, compared with 53-47 last time – Labor’s best result from Nielsen since November 2010. The primary votes show Labor steady on 34%, the Coalition down two to 43% and the Greens up one to 11%. Julia Gillard has made substantial gains personally, to the extent that she has very nearly broken even on her net rating for the first time since March 2011: her approval is up five points to 47%, and disapproval down five to 48%. Tony Abbott is up one on both approval and disapproval, to 37% and a new high of 60% respectively. On preferred prime minister, Gillard’s lead has widened from 47-44 to 50-40, her best result since February 2011.

Also, James J reports The Australian has published results of Galaxy Research poll commissioned by unspecified unions targeting two marginals in Queensland (Blair and Moreton), one in New South Wales (Greenway) and one in Victoria (Deakin), which finds Labor doing much better when respondents were asked how they would vote if Kevin Rudd was leading the party. The results for a Gillard leadership are 37% for Labor, 44% for the Coalition and 11% for the Greens, with the Coalition leading 51-49 on two-pary preferred. With a Rudd leadership, this becomes 48% for Labor, 37% for the Coalition and 9% for the Greens, with Labor leading 57-43. However, I personally find little value in this kind of exercise, which gives partisan respondents from the other side an opportunity to create mischief. The combined results in these seats at the 2010 election was 52.2-47.8 to Labor, with primary votes of 40.1% for Labor, 41.0% for the Coalition and 11.5% for the Greens. However, redistribution has since weakened Deakin for Labor by 1.8%.

UPDATE: Full tables from Nielsen here, and leaders attribute ratings here. There’s nothing too sensational in the gender breakdowns in terms of changes on the last poll – indeed, the big shift is on preferred prime minister among men, from 48-43 in Abbott’s favour to 48-42 in Gillard’s. However, there’s no reflection of this in the personal ratings, with Gillard improving in the same proportions among men and women.

The headline finding of the attribute figures is that 43% consider Tony Abbott “sexist”, although another 53% think Gillard “easily influenced by minority groups”. Gillard is well favoured on foreign policy, social policy and openness to ideas, Abbott on “has the confidence of her/his party”. Abbott also has slightly leads on “trustworthy” and “firm grasp of economic policy”. The poll also finds a clear majority of 57% to 42% now in favour of the parliament running its full term. The Coalition is still clearly favoured to win the election, on 56% to 32% for Labor.

UPDATE: Essential Research is unchanged on last week, with the Coalition on 47%, Labor on 36%, the Greens on 9% and the Coalition leading 53-47 on two-party preferred. Also featured are their six-monthly question on “trust in organisations and institutions”, which interestingly has everything up a few points after an across-the-board drop last time. Questions on “sexism and discrimination against women” find 62-67% of women and 49-55% of men believing it present in workplaces, media, politics, advertising and sport (politics scoring highest), but smaller numbers in schools (39% of men and 48% of women).

UPDATE 2: The Roy Morgan face-to-face polling conducted over the previous two weekends has Labor in front on the headline respondent-allocated preference measure for the first time since January, and opening a 52.5-47.5 lead on the previous election preference measure – remembering as always the consistent bias in this series to Labor. The previous poll had the Coalition with respective leads of 52-48 and 51-49. This is off the back of the weakest primary vote for the Coalition since the election, down 4.5% on the previous poll to 38.5%. Labor has gained only half a point on the primary vote to 37.5%, with both Greens and others up two, to 12.5% and 11.5%.

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