Prime Minister John Howard and the government are slowly clawing back support as the federal election approaches, the latest Reuters Poll Trend has found.

The Reuters Poll Trend is an analysis of polls by Morgan, Newspoll and ACNielsen that aims to summarise their findings by compiling them and removing their volatility. 

The Reuters Poll Trend has the Howard government trailing Labor by 9.8 points on a two party preferred basis. Coalition support is 45.1%, compared to 54.9% for Labor.

August’s result is the first time the government has trailed Labor by less than 10 points since Labor elected Kevin Rudd as leader in December 2006.

The government has slowly reduced Labor’s poll lead since mid-March, when the government trailed by 19.2 points.