James J reports a somewhat interesting result from Newspoll, with the two parties locked together at 50-50, from primary votes of 36% for Labor (up three on a fortnight ago), 41% for the Coalition (down five) and 12% for the Greens (up four from an anomalous and over-hyped result last time). The Labor two-party and Coalition primary and two-party figures were all last seen at this level in the poll of 18-20 February 2011, while Labor was last at 36% on the primary vote in the poll of 18-20 March 2011. Julia Gillard has shot to a resounding 46-32 lead as preferred prime minister, up from 39-38, and she is also up five on approval to 36% and down five on disapproval to 52%. This 10-point improvement in her net rating follows a 7% improvement in the previous poll. Tony Abbott meanwhile is down one on approval to 30% and up one on disapproval to 60%.

UPDATE: Troy Bramston on Twitter reports Nielsen has the Coalition leading 53-47 (down from 54-46 last month), from primary votes of 34% for Labor (up two), 45% for the Coalition (steady) and 10% for the Greens (down one). Julia Gillard is in the unfamiliar position of having a personal approval rating with a four in front of it, although this is partly to do with the unusually low uncommitted results Nielsen gets on its personal ratings. Her approval is at 42%, up three, and her disapproval is at 53%, down four. Tony Abbott meanwhile is down three to 36% and up two to 59%, which is five points worse than what was previously his weakest net rating from Nielsen. Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister has widened from 46-45 to 47-44.

UPDATE 2: Full tables from GhostWhoVotes. In brief:

• The poll finds 44% saying they would vote Labor against 41% for the Coalition if Kevin Rudd was leader, for a two-party lead to Labor of 53-47, though I personally take these sorts of questions with a grain of salt.

• Kevin Rudd continues to lead Julia Gillard as preferred Labor leader, but his lead is down from 60-31 to 55-37. Gillard leads 52-47 among Labor supporters.

• Malcolm Turnbull on the other hand has a commanding 63-30 lead over Tony Abbott, including a 53-45 lead among Coalition supporters.

• On the state breakdowns, Labor’s two-party vote is at 47% in New South Wales (up two), 49% in Victoria (down one), 42% in Queensland (up one), 44% in Western Australia (down two) and 54% in South Australia/Northern Territory (up seven), remembering the sample sizes on the smaller states in particular are extremely small.

• Support for the carbon price is essentially unchanged on a month ago, with support up one to 37% and opposition steady at 59%, and 3% thinking themselves better off (steady), 38% worse off (down two) and 54% unchanged (steady).

UPDATES 3 & 4: It’s Monday madness in polldom, with Roy Morgan also bringing its publication forward a day to join with the regular Essential Research. The latter deflates the Labor balloon a little, showing two-party preferred steady at 55-45 and the Coalition actually gaining a point on the primary vote, to 48%, with Labor and the Greens steady on 34% and 9%. However, Julia Gillard is found to have done a lot better on leader attribute measures than when the questions were posed in the April 2 poll, which was also a 55-45 result.

The biggest movers for Gillard are “out of touch with ordinary people”, down nine to 56%, and “superficial”, down eight to 46%, while her smallest improvement is on “understands the problems facing Australia”, which is up two to 43%. Tony Abbott meanwhile rates over 50% on every negative measure, ranging for 51% for erratic to 63% for arrogant. On positive attributes, both leaders score strongest on “hard-working” (Gillard 69%, Abbott 67%) and “intelligent” (68% and 62%), and weakest on “trustworthy” (30% each), “visionary” (31% and 29%) and “more honest than other politicians” (31% and 27%).

Essential offers further interesting reading in the shape of an exercise on drug laws, in which propositions about policy responses were worded slightly differently for two separate sub-samples. The results were found to be all but identical, with across-the-board support for the hardest available line. The most liberal finding was of 38% support for cannabis decriminalisation, with 49% opposed. Elsewhere, a startling 83% said they were willing to sign on for “government legislation to prevent people from using social media to attack and bully individuals”, against 9% opposed.

The Morgan face-to-face poll combines results for the last two weekend’s surveying, and nudges further in favour of Labor to give them another best-result-since-March. On the primary vote, Labor is up a point to 35%, the Coalition is down one to 40.5%, and the Greens are up half a point to 12%. That comes out as a 50.5-49.5 lead to the Coalition if allocating preferences as per the previous election result, as is done by all the pollsters measured above, or at 53.5-46.5 according to the curiously pro-Coalition preference allocations nominated by its respondents.

Other news:

• The Queensland Greens have selected Adam Stone, who ran in Mount Coot-tha at the state election and was touted during the campaign as the party’s “senior candidate”, to lead their Senate ticket at the next election. Stone has “worked in policy roles within the State and Commonwealth public services and as an advisor in the Federal Parliament”. Other candidates for the preselection were Libby Connors, a history lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland, and Jim McDonald, a former union official and industrial relations lecturer, who respectively ran in Yeerongpilly and Noosa at the state election.

Leslie White of the Weekly Times reports on polling for an unspecified party showing underwhelming support for the Nationals in Hume, where they were said to be running by the Greens on a voting intention question that didn’t specify candidates. The Nationals are hoping to gain the seat from the Liberals with the retirement of Alby Schultz, with Senator Fiona Nash and state MPs Katrina Hodgkinson and Niall Blair discussed as possible candidates to run against the Liberals’ Angus Taylor.

Katherine Feeney of Fairfax reports Jane Prentice, the LNP member for the Brisbane seat of Ryan, has seen off preselection challenges from Jonathon Flegg, son of state government minister Bruce Flegg, and pharmacist John Caris.