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Abbott's approval rating sinks: poll


Federal Labor is continuing to chip away at the coalition's election winning lead, as Tony Abbott's personal approval rating declines to its lowest level since he became opposition leader.

The latest Essential Research online poll released on Monday showed two-party support for Labor rose to 48 per cent, from 47 per cent a week earlier, while the coalition edged down to 52 per cent, from 53 per cent.

Over the month, support for Julia Gillard as preferred prime minister rose to 45 per cent, from 43 per cent, while Mr Abbott dropped to 32 per cent, from 36 per cent.

Ms Gillard's approval rating as Labor leader was steady at 41 per cent, while her disapproval rating showed a modest improvement to 49 per cent from 51 per cent.

Overall, her approval rating of minus eight was her best since May 2011.

In contrast, Mr Abbott's approval rating fell to 33 per cent, from 37 per cent, while his disapproval rating rose to 58 per cent, from 54 per cent.

His net approval rating of minus 25 was the worst since he replaced Malcolm Turnbull as opposition leader in late 2009.

The survey of 1044 respondents also found that of all the big ticket policy changes proposed by Labor, 31 per cent believed the Gonski schools funding reforms were the most important.

Twenty-nine per cent supported increased funding for aged care, while 16 per cent backed a national disability insurance scheme and 12 per cent supported Murray River water reforms.

Asked about the best way to cut spending to pay for the reforms, 53 per cent backed reducing the baby bonus to $2000 or eliminating it for people earning over $75,000.

Asked what revenue source should be increased to pay for the reforms, 46 per cent suggested increasing taxes for high income earners.

Only 10 per cent backed the idea of increasing the GST rate to 11 or 12 per cent from 10 per cent and just five per cent approved expanding the base of the tax to fresh food and health.