The latest result from Essential Research has both major parties a point down on the primary vote, in both cases from 40% to 39%. This makes room for increases of one point for the Greens and two points to others, both now at 10%, while Palmer United is now at 2%, which I believe to be a new low. Also featured are Essential Research’s regular monthly personal ratings, which offer yet another belting for Tony Abbott, who is down seven points on approval to 32% and up five on disapproval to 55%. Bill Shorten is down two on approval to 35% and up one on disapproval to 39%, and has opened up a 36-31 lead on preferred prime minister after trailing 36-34 last time.

There’s also results on how various politicians have performed over the past year, which are predictable in direction but very interesting in degree. Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and, more excusably, Christine Milne have equally poor net ratings of minus 22%, minus 24% and minus 23% respectively (Milne having an undecided rating quite a bit higher than the other two). The big eye-openers are Clive Palmer at minus 50% and Julie Bishop at plus 28%. Rather less interestingly, Bill Shorten is at minus 5%.

The poll also finds the issues respondents most want addressed over the coming year are improving the health system and reducing unemployment, with less concern for public transport investment, environmental protection, investment in roads and, in last place, free trade agreements. Respondents also deem it to have been a bad year for pretty much everything, most especially “Australian politics in general” at minus 53% (which is still an improvement on minus 62% last year&#148), the only exceptions being large companies and corporations (plus 14%) and “you and your family overall” (plus 3%).

A semi-regular question on same-sex marriage records weaker support than the particularly strong showing in June, at 55% (down five) with 32% opposed (up four).

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