Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Labor got a slight bump in the weekend polls as Nielsen showed the government's primary votes gained traction by attracting anew 30 per cent of the 1400 participants queried by pollsters.
The Fairfax-commissioned survey also indicated that Australian households have been gradually digesting the likely positive impacts of the contentious carbon pricing that took effect July 1, which also came with cash incentives released by federal authorities to specific beneficiaries.
It could be that the 'lived experience' regularly harped about the carbon tax by Ms Gillard was etching some imprints on voters as only 38 per cent now professed they were worse off with the new tax program already in play.
However, six out of 10 Australians were still opposed to carbon pricing as of last Saturday, Nielsen said.
The non-believers though have been whittled down by two points, which Fairfax has connected to Labor's slight upswing in the primary number contest and Ms Gillard's two-points jump in the approval department.
But reality still bites for the ruling party as Labor plays catch up in two-party preferred - 56 per cent against 44 per cent - with Ms Gillard unable to clip the soaring wings of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott both in the preferred and approval race.
Clearly, Mr Abbott has the upperhand and will win without sweating too much as 48 per cent of Australians regard him as the best candidate to lead the country come the 2013 federal election.
His preferred numbers were supported by approval rating of 39 per cent, not suffering and gaining at all from the previous standings, according to Fairfax.
Ms Gillard, on the other hand, collected a full percentage point to buttress her standing as a viable Labor leader but she nonetheless trails Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister at 43 per cent.
Her approval numbers also jumped to 37 per cent, only two points shy of levelling to Mr Abbot's grounds.
Amidst the bitterly close fight between Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott, Fairfax noted that one figure in the sidelines appears to be smiling as the two tussle it out - former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was again crowned as the country's most popular political leader.
But as one analyst argued recently, the personal spars were non-significant at all as voters install the dominant party, which in turn anoints the prime minister.
So far, every poll numbers point to the inevitable next year - the federal government will become a Coalition turf unless Labor can muster enough numbers in the months ahead that could turn the ominous tides swamping its shores.
According to Nielsen poll director John Stirton, the new figures should not be taken as trend-setting at this point as "it would take some months to determine voters' final attitudes."
Mr Stirton meant it could be that benefits of the carbon tax will begin trickling in and Labor will start to gain from positive feedbacks that the program will generate in the months ahead.
Or it could be that nothing would change much and Labor will remain restive as the party stares on the prospect of defeat, with Ms Gillard ever-more adamant in leading the ALP despite suggestions that her fronting could lead to a power-shift on 2013.
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