Newspoll has conducted its usual fortnighly poll from a normal sample of 1151, but for some reason The Australian only provides results for preferred Labor leader. This offers yet more evidence that Julia Gillard is now less popular than Kevin Rudd, with the former favoured by 29 per cent against 36 per cent for the latter, with 10 per cent opting for Wayne Swan. The Australian’s report leads with the news that “only one in 10 voters back Wayne Swan as their preferred Labor leader”, which hardly comes as a surprise. Swan’s inclusion in the mix distinguishes the poll from previous Newspoll efforts six weeks ago and early last year, as does a six point hike in the undecided rating from 19 per cent to 25 per cent.

Today also saw the weekly Essential Research poll, which had Labor slipping another point on two-party preferred to trail 54-46. The Coalition is up a point on the primary vote to 47 per cent, with Labor and the Greens steady on 35 per cent and 11 per cent respectively. Contra Nielsen, the poll finds a slight increase in support for the carbon tax, with support up five points on a fortnight ago to 39 per cent and opposition down two to 49 per cent. If “the money paid by big polluting industries was used to compensate low and middle income earners and small businesses for increased prices”, support is 51 per cent (down three points) and opposition 33 per cent (up three points). Support for the National Broadband Network has increased since a dip in February, up six points to 54 per cent with opposition down three to 28 per cent. There are also two questions on Israel-Palestine which do not to my mind prove terribly illuminating.