The latest weekly Essential Research poll has the Coalition ticking over from 54-46 to 55-45, as it must have come close to doing last time, with the major parties’ primary votes unchanged at 34% for Labor and 48% for the Coalition and the Greens down a point to 9%. The monthly personal ratings find Julia Gillard taking a solid hit over the past month, her approval down five points to 36% and disapproval up six to 55%, while Tony Abbott is up three to 36% and down four to 53%. The handy lead she opened up over late last year as preferred prime minister has all but disappeared, down from 42-33 to 39-37. The poll also finds 63% support for fixed terms against 23% for the current system. Also gauged were most important election issues and party best equipped to handle them, showing no great change since the question was last posed in November.

UPDATE (12/2/2013): Now Labor cops a shocker from the normally friendly Morgan face-to-face series, which on last weekend’s result has Labor down five to 33.5%, the Coalition up 2.5% to 45% and the Greens up half a point to 9%. That translates to 56-44 on respondent-allocated preferences and 54.5-45.5 on previous election preferences.

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