The Prime Minister's approval rating with voters has worsened, but the collapse in Labor's vote appears to have stabilised, according to today's Essential Report.

Julia Gillard's net approval rating, which peaked in mid-January at net minus 8 points, is at its worst since August last year, with 36% of voters approving of her performance and 56% disapproving, up a point from net minus 19 points in February. Tony Abbott's approval rating has lifted by a point and his disapproval rating has fallen by two points, giving him a net approval rating of minus 14 points. Abbott and Gillard are now equal on preferred Prime Minister, on 39% each, a fall of two points for the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader's best outcome since August.