FAR fewer voters believe the carbon tax will hurt them now they have experienced it, but the policy is still unpopular - and so is the government that introduced it.
The latest Herald/Nielsen poll, taken about a month after the introduction of a carbon price, shows the proportion of voters who thought they would be worse off has slumped dramatically while those who feel it will make no difference has soared.
In the poll taken a month ago, just before the carbon price began, 51 per cent felt they would be worse off, 37 per cent thought it would make no difference, and only 5 per cent felt they would be better off.
The latest poll of 1400 people, taken from Thursday to Saturday nights, finds 38 per cent feel they are worse off, a drop of 13 percentage points, while 52 per cent feel it has made no difference, a rise of 15 points. Again, only 5 per cent believe they are better off.
The government has argued that attitudes would change once people had experienced the carbon price but this has not translated into a marked increase in support for either the policy or the government.
The poll finds Labor's primary vote has lifted 2 points in a month to 30 per cent while the Coalition's primary vote fell a point to 47 per cent.
The Greens remained steady on 12 per cent, despite the attacks by Labor during the past month that they were a party of extremists and politically impotent ideologues.
The Coalition leads Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 56 per cent to 44, which represents a 6 point swing to the Coalition since the last election - enough to deliver it an extra 29 seats if the swing was uniform.
Support for a price on carbon lifted 3 points to 36 per cent while opposition to the policy fell 2 points to 60 per cent.
The poll was taken at the end of a week in which the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, had a significant victory over the Liberal states of NSW and Victoria to establish trials of a National Disability Support Scheme.
It also followed a fortnight of leadership speculation kicked off by a Rudd supporter, Joel Fitzgibbon, remarking on Ms Gillard's unpopularity.
The poll finds Mr Rudd remains twice as popular as Ms Gillard as preferred Labor leader, by 60 per cent to 31 per cent, and he bests Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister by 57 per cent to 36 per cent.
Yet 61 per cent of Labor voters believe the party must stick with Ms Gillard while only 36 per cent support a change.
Overall, 52 per cent of voters back a change while 42 per cent oppose it.
Mr Abbott leads Ms Gillard as preferred prime minister by 48 per cent to 43 per cent but both are deeply unpopular with voters.
Ms Gillard showed a slight improvement with her approval rating up 2 points to 37 per cent and her disapproval rate down 2 points to 56 per cent.
Mr Abbott's approval rating was steady on 39 per cent and his disapproval rating rose a point to 56 per cent.
Ms Gillard, who is on holiday this week in far north Queensland, has said it will take several months after the introduction of the carbon price for Labor's poll standing to increase.
She faces a nervous period when Parliament resumes on August 14 and the Rudd camp agitates for change.
The poll shows that in NSW, Labor lags the Coalition by 54 per cent to 46 per cent on the two-party-preferred vote while in Victoria it trails 51-49, and in Queensland 63-37.