Tony Abbott ... looking set for a big win over Julia Gillard.
Tony Abbott ... looking set for a big win over Julia Gillard. Chris Ison

Latest poll shows Labor could lose 30 seats under Gillard

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she will continue to focus on the "things that really matter" after the release of another disastrous Newspoll for her and Labor.

The poll will do nothing to ease the growing desperation within Labor ranks, with the party's primary vote dropping to 29% for the first time in a year and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott opening up a 12-point lead as preferred prime minister (45-33%).

Using preference flows from the 2010 election the Coalition holds a two-party-preferred lead of 57-43% - a slight improvement for Labor since the last poll but within the margin of error - which if replicated on September 14 could see Labor lose as many as 30 seats.

But despite another grim poll and mounting leadership tension ahead of the final parliamentary sitting week before the election, Ms Gillard rejected the assertion she would step down for the good of the party.

"This was all settled in March," Ms Gillard told reporters in Canberra on Monday morning , three years to the day since she replaced Kevin Rudd as leader.

"The focus for me this week is on our schools reforms which are in the Senate. What I want to leave this week having achieved is better schools for our nation which means a better future for our nation. That'll be by my focus.

"Now, you may choose to focus on something else but that's exactly what I'll be focused on."

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the constant leadership speculation was largely responsible for the bad polls and had to be resolved this week.

Mr Combet said given none of Mr Rudd's pre-conditions for returning to the leadership existed, it was up to the former prime minister to either challenge or unite behind Ms Gillard.

"I think a few things are clear: one is that the prime minister is not about to step down, two is senior cabinet colleagues are not about to ask her to step down, and three is I think Kevin Rudd does need to decide what he's going to do here because we cannot come out of this final week of Parliament with this speculation continuing on all the way to the election," Mr Combet said on ABC radio.

"It's just got to be resolved. I think Kevin Rudd has to decide whether he's a candidate or not and then do something about it."

Meanwhile, Mr Abbott told the told his shadow cabinet on Monday morning Australia would look back on the past three years as a "bad dream that passed in the night".

Picking up on the unrest within the Labor caucus, Mr Abbott said the upcoming election would be the "most important ... in a generation".

"We have been a very good, stable and united team and obviously there's been an extraordinary contrast between our work together and the work on the other side of the Parliament," Mr Abbott said.

"Plainly, the Australian people cannot have another three years like the three years that we've just gone through."

Who should be Australia's next Prime Minister?

This poll ended on 28 June 2013.

Current Results

Julia Gillard


Kevin Rudd


Tony Abbott


Malcolm Turnbull


Clive Palmer


Bob Katter


Hamish and Andy


Pauline Hanson


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

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