LABOR has recorded a jump in support at the start of an election year but its resurgence has come at a cost to the Greens and other parties.
The first Newspoll of 2013 in The Australian newspaper today shows Labor's support has risen six points to 38 per cent while the Coalition has dropped just two points to 44 per cent since the previous poll in December.
The Greens retreated two points to nine per cent as did the amalgamation of other smaller parties.
Despite the big recovery in its primary vote there were only marginal changes in personal satisfaction ratings for Julia Gillard as prime minister.
The Coalition retains a slender lead on a two-party-preferred basis, 51 to 49 per cent, but has lost three percentage points to return to the neck-and-neck position that produced a hung parliament at the 2010 election.
The Australian said the shift comes as Ms Gillard vows to press ahead with school funding and disability insurance reforms after Treasurer Wayne Swan dropped Labor's promise to deliver a budget surplus this year.
While Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has been on leave or working with his volunteer fire brigade north of Sydney, Ms Gillard toured bushfire-affected areas and announced a royal commission into child sexual abuse.
The continuing fierce personal contest between the pair saw only marginal changes in their personal approval ratings.
Ms Gillard gained two percentage points against Mr Abbott as preferred prime minister and leads 45 to 33 per cent.
She has a satisfaction rating of 38 (up two) and a dissatisfaction rating of 49 (down three) while Mr Abbott's ratings were 29 (up one) and 58 (down one).