Julia Gillard is surging and Tony Abbott is dipping. This, essentially, is the picture painted by the latest Newspoll survey, the results of which were published on Tuesday by The Australian.
The two political leaders battle to win the hearts of the Australian public. Recently, it appears weighing heavily in favour of the incumbent prime minister, clocking for herself 46 per cent of support coming from voters convinced she is better fit to lead the nation.
Ms Gillard also garnered 37 per cent in approval rating, an improvement by two points from the last opinion poll, leading to a net satisfaction level of negative 15 per cent and effectively climbing from the disapproval pit of 68 per cent she attracted September last year.
More than 12 months after that woeful episode, when the Labor leader stared at a humiliating defeat, she now looks at a lower 52 per cent of Aussies not please with her performance, further improving, Newspoll said, as in gleaned in the past few months.
And over the course of the same period, the opposition leader seems successful only in one thing - driving away as many votes as possible from the public, the Newspoll survey showed.
From the last weekend poll, Mr Abbott saw his approval rating further sinking by three percentage points to 27 per cent, affording him a net satisfaction level of negative 36 per cent as it turned out that as of last Saturday, 63 per cent of voters disapprove his recent actions and behaviours.
Or how Labor has portrayed him lately, the Liberal leader conceded today, admitting to ABC that the government's spirited efforts to discredit him are taking its toll on his poll standing.
Weeks ago, Mr Abbott was called sexist, misogynist and almost everything negative in the books and Newspoll researchers said the campaign appears sinking.
He now lags behind Ms Gillard in the preferred prime minister contest, his 32 per cent support short of 14 points to the total votes mustered by the Labor leader.
In Brisbane today, Mr Abbott refused to comment on the fresh poll data provided by Newspoll, insisting that instead of dwelling on the negatives he would concentrate on formulating policies that would lead to the betterment of Australian households.
The opposition leader has some reason to remain a bit calm at the moment, analysts said, as the primary contest between Labor and the Coalition has indicated that the next government would he headed by a Liberal prime minister - the opposition leads at 43 per cent, climbing by two points, while Labor remains stuck at 36 per cent.
Yet in the two-party preferred department, Labor breathes hard on Liberals neck, the former's 49 per cent just a spit away from the latter's 51 per cent, better actually for the Coalition when compared to the deadlock registered previously by Newspoll.
Analysts, however, suggest that Australia may vote for a Liberal government on 2013 but it would not necessarily mean that Mr Abbot would be the prime minister. They noted that he's nearing the dissatisfaction threshold, in which party leaders were normally booted out by the caucus.
In Mr Abbott's case, the man he deposed earlier, Malcolm Turnbull, could soon turn the table on him. Opinion polls in recent weeks pointed to Mr Turnbull as overwhelmingly more popular than the current Leader of the Opposition.
In the event that the Coalition party room panics and dumps Mr Abbott, for fear that sticking with him will greatly affect the outcome of next year's federal election, Mr Turnbull is the man of choice by the Liberals, according to The Daily Telegraph.