Gillard brushes off latest Labor poll slide

AAP, with a staff reporter

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has brushed aside the latest opinion poll which puts support for her Labor government at its lowest levels since the carbon tax was about to be introduced almost 12 months ago.

Ms Gillard would not directly comment on results of a Fairfax/Neilsen poll released today, which shows just 29 per cent of voters support Labor.

"Ask me about the $14.5 billion dollars for schools - they're the only numbers that are worrying me," Ms Gillard told the Nine Network.

Ms Gillard's historic partnership agreement with China and a $2 million strategy to tax high-end super were not enough to help the popularity of the federal government.

The latest Nielsen poll shows Labor's primary vote has slipped two percentage points to 29 per cent, Fairfax reports.

The government hasn't been this unpopular since June last year - just before the carbon tax came into effect.

About the same time, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's anti-carbon tax scare campaign was at its height and so was the coalition's popularity, garnering 49 per cent of first preference votes.

Today's Nielsen poll shows the coalition is once again attracting almost half the primary votes, with 49 per cent of people saying they would give their first preference to the coalition, according to Fairfax.

If an election was held now, the coalition would easily win with a national swing of seven per cent after preferences.

In the two-party preferred vote, the coalition claims 57 per cent of votes to Labor's 43 per cent.

Mr Abbott gained ground as preferred prime minister, up one percentage point to 50 per cent.

He leads Prime Minister Julia Gillard by eight percentage points after her support dropped one point to 42 per cent.

Ms Gillard's approval rating also dropped in the latest poll.

The prime minister currently has a negative approval rating of minus 22 per cent, meaning more people disapprove than approve of her performance, Fairfax reports

Mr Abbott's net approval did not change.

His negative approval rating was steady at minus 10 per cent.

Kevin Rudd still outstrips Ms Gillard as preferred Labor leader at 57 per cent.

However, the failed leadership tilt by Mr Rudd's supporters improved Ms Gillard's standing by four percentage points, up to 35 from 31.