Julia Gillard’s personal standing with voters has collapsed, according to today’s Essential Report.

Her personal satisfaction ratings with voters are now down to 34% approval and 54% disapproval, giving her a huge negative dissatisfaction rating. In early May, her rating was 41%-48%, a small recovery from her previous worst in April, when she had reached 37%-50%.

Tony Abbott has also gone backwards with voters since May, with a 4-point switch between approval and disapproval. He is now on 38%-48%, half the Prime Minister’s dissatisfaction level. Gillard still leads Abbott as preferred Prime Minister but it’s now down to its lowest ever level, 41%-36%, down from 43-35% in May.

The view that climate change is real and human-caused has softened since May. Just 50% of voters believe it is happening and is caused by humans, while 39% believe climate change is just a normal fluctuation in the climate; those figures were 52-36% in May, but 45-36% in December. Liberal voters are much more likely to not believe in human-caused climate change — 55% of them think it is purely natural and only 34% think human cause it, while 83% of Green voters and 64% of Labor voters think it is caused by humans.

Of those who believe climate change is caused by humans, 48% are “somewhat confident” it can be averted if we take action now, and 13% are very confident, but 36% are only a little or not at all confident we can stop it even if we act now.

Support for the government’s proposal to price carbon remains flat, with support unchanged at 38% and opposition up 1 point at 49%.

Awareness of the government’s proposal to send asylum seekers to Malaysia is relatively high, with 27% of voters saying they know a lot about it and 31% saying they know “something about” it, while 38% say they know little or nothing about it. Feelings are finely balanced, with 40% saying they support it and 39% opposing it. Greens voters object most strongly (51%) and Labor voters are its strongest supporters (47%).

On voting intention, a one-point rise in the Coalition’s primary vote sees the 2PP results move back to 54-46%, with no other change from last week.

Peter Fray

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