Labor’s vote — and Julia Gillard’s personal standing with voters — shows no signs of any movement two weeks into the period identified by the government as crucial to its fortunes.

New polling from Essential Research shows no shift in voting intention, with the Coalition’s vote steady on 49% and Labor’s vote the same on 31%. The Greens have dropped a point to 10%. The two-party preferred outcome is 57-43%, up from last week’s 56-44% because of rounding.

The Prime Minister’s approval figures have barely shifted, with her disapproval rising two points to 58% and her approval rating steady on 32%. Tony Abbott’s personal numbers have improved from his worst-ever performance in June, with his approval rating up three points to 35% and his disapproval rating down a point to 52%. He’s also overtaken Gillard as preferred prime minister, but the change is negligible; they were tied on 37% in June and Abbott has now moved to 38%.

Voters are also unhappy with the Greens’ performance, with only 17% of voters rating their performance as good, and 47% “poor”. That question may function as a partial proxy for support for the Greens, however, but that in itself is interesting in the context of the Labor Right’s declaration of war on the Greens over the past week.

While 65% of Liberal voters think the Greens’ performance has been poor, Labor voters are far more divided: 21% think it’s been good and only 37% poor, with 35% saying “neither good nor poor”, far higher than Liberal voters and Greens voters, 21% of whom take the same view. Fifty three per cent of voters believe the Greens are “too extreme”, but again Labor voters are torn: 50% believe they are too extreme, while 27% think they represent the views of many voters, but 23% of Labor voters “didn’t know”, a far higher rate than Liberal voters (12%) or Greens voters (9%).

And Julian Assange’s bid for asylum with Ecuador appears to have adversely affected Australians’ view of his situation. Twenty eight per cent of voters from Essential’s online panel of 996 now say they think the government has provided appropriate support for the WikiLeaks editor, up six points since March, while those of the view that the government has failed to provide appropriate support has fallen three points to 33%. Labor voters tend to most strongly support the government, 37-34%, while Coalition voters (30-32%) and Greens voters (16-42%) disagree.

In the event the United States charges Assange, voters most strongly support our government offering consular support and calling for due process (32%), while 24% say the government should offer him protection from prosecution and extradition; another 22% together say it should either do nothing, or actively support US efforts to lock him up. Again, Greens voters are the strongest supporters of Assange, but it’s Liberal voters who are the most gung-ho: 10% want to support the US and 17% want the government to do nothing, while only 19% want to see him protected from extradition by Australia.

Peter Fray

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