Labor ends the year well behind the Coalition, but slightly more voters think Julia Gillard will be leading her party at the next election than Tony Abbott, according to polling from Essential Research.
The parties' primary votes -- Coalition 48, Labor 36, Greens 8 -- remain frozen, with the two-party preferred outcome shifting a point in favour of the Coalition to reflect rounding, at 55-45.
Comparing the start of the year and the finish, there hasn't been a substantial shift in the polls: the Coalition is almost exactly where it started; Labor has picked up some votes, apparently, at the expense of the Greens.
Almost 40% of voters think Gillard will lead Labor to the next election, compared to 40% who believe she won't; 38% of voters think Abbott will lead the Coalition, with 35% saying he won't. Around one-fifth of Liberal and Labor voters think their respective leaders won't be in their current position come next year's election.
Some 20% of voters think the Prime Minister has had a good year, and 57% say she's had a bad year; 15% of voters think the Leader of the Opposition has had a good year and 52% say he's had a bad one.
Only 9% of voters think it's been a good year overall for Australian politics. Those who are perceived to have had a good year include the banks (68%), mining companies (62%) and large companies (31%); 29% believe the Australian economy has had a good year and 37% think it has had a poor one, compared to 33-31% last year. Almost 30% say it's been a good year for them and their families; 37% say a poor one, 34% say neither good nor bad.
Essential now takes a break and resumes polling in mid-January.