Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott both finish the Summer break with marginal improvements in their voter standing, but the political landscape is essentially unchanged, according to Essential Research

The Prime Minister has strengthened her approval rating to 37% among Essential’s online panel of 1899 voters, up three points since December, and her disapproval has fallen two points to 52%.

Tony Abbott has improved by exactly the same amounts, to 35% and 51%, an improvement for the opposition leader since his last rating in December which recorded a wretched 21-point net disapproval.

Both leaders remain deeply disliked by the electorate.

Neither Gillard nor Abbott have been prominent over the warmer months; thankfully the lack of natural disasters has meant our political leaders have joined the rest of us in Summer torpor except the usual motormouths like Barnaby Joyce, MPs animated by Kim Carr’s trip to Detroit, and Teresa Gambaro’s embarrassing entry into the personal hygiene issue.

In the preferred PM stakes things are also little changed: Abbott has pulled back a point on the Prime Minister, but she still leads 39-36%.

And on voting intention it’s the same: the Coalition is up a point but the 2PP result remains 54-46%. It’s unsurprising — voting intention has remained very stable in the Coalition’s favour since the second half of 2011. A quiet Summer is unlikely to change much.

Peter Fray

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