Labor improves in poll but may not survive federal election

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's standing among voters has improved, but two polls out on Monday show Labor still faces an election wipeout in September.

The Nielsen poll was the more positive of the two from a government perspective, with Labor achieving a three-point recovery in its primary support (to 32%) and two-party-preferred vote ( to 46%).

But while support for the Coalition was down five points and three points respectively, it still held a commanding 54-46% 2PP lead.

On the question of preferred prime minister Ms Gillard drew level with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on 46% - an eight-point turnaround since April when she trailed 50-42%.

The Prime Minister's approval rating also improved since April - from 37% to 40% - while the number who disapproved dropped by a similar amount to 56%.

Newspoll was less encouraging for Labor, with it failing to eat into the Coalition's 56-44% 2PPP lead in the past fortnight.

But like the Nielsen poll, Ms Gillard made ground on the question of who would make the better prime minister, narrowing the margin to 40-39% in favour of Mr Abbott. Two weeks ago she trailed 42-37%.

Newspoll also asked people to rate the budget, with 35% saying it was bad and 37% good.

More worryingly for the government 44% thought they would be worse off under the measures announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan on Tuesday, while just 11% thought they would be better off.