A new poll says support for the carbon tax has fallen to a record low as the political campaign about the scheme goes into overdrive.
The Nielsen poll, published in today's Fairfax papers, says two thirds of Australians do not support the tax, which came into effect on Sunday.
Government and Opposition MPs will spend the next fortnight pushing their points of view around the country as both parties move to a virtual campaign footing.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will today begin a high-profile campaign against the tax, criss-crossing the country for about two weeks.
Mr Abbott has pledged that a Coalition government would repeal the tax, which he says "will hit every Australian family's cost of living." But Prime Minister Julia Gillard is insisting the Opposition's "fear campaign" will not succeed.
"Australians will be able to judge for themselves, rather than listening to the politicians," she said.
Anti-carbon tax ads will be splashed across billboards and television as Coalition frontbenchers fan out across the country, but the message from the Federal Government is one of reassurance.
"This is a reform that is perfectly manageable, one that is a responsible thing to do," Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said.
"It'll see Australia play its fair part in international efforts to tackle climate change and weâre doing it in a way that millions of households would be better off." One of the independents who helped to create the scheme, Rob Oakeshott, says the toxic nature of the politic debate is a significant threat to the scheme's future.
"Frankly it's going to come down to good Liberals either changing the policy position that the Liberal Party now holds, or changing the leader if they are not willing to change." "The key to the success of this is getting confidence in the marketplace ...
it all fails unless there are big bets made by big players, and they will only do that when there is confidence in the market and that will only happen when the politics settles down." Today's Nielsen poll says support for the carbon tax has fallen four percentage points in the last month to stand at 33 per cent, its lowest level since the tax was announced 15 months ago.
Sixty-two per cent of those questioned said they opposed the tax.
Labor's primary vote has risen two points to 28 per cent, while the Coalition remained steady on 48 per cent.
On a two-party-preferred basis, the Coalition leads Labor 58 per cent to 42 per cent, representing an eight-point swing since the last election.
The poll has a maximum margin of error of 2.8 per cent.