The latest weekly Essential Research survey has Labor maintaining its 51-49 lead from last week, but with the Coalition gaining a point on the primary vote to 44 per cent, Labor stable on 42 per cent and the Greens down a point further to an undernourished 8 per cent. When asked whether Tony Abbott was unfairly putting roadblocks in the way of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s programs, 46 per cent rated him too obstructive while 54 per cent believed his actions appropriate for an Opposition Leader (not sure where the don’t knows went). A surprisingly large majority agreed there should be a new election, perhaps owing to the question’s rather odd qualification that such an election would allow us a Government with a working majority: 55 per cent agreed with only 23 per cent disagreeing. Findings on attributes to describe the Prime Minister have Julia Gillard deteriorating on all measures since the questions were last posed on July 5. Her worst reversal is a 15 per drop on good in a crisis, which forcefully makes the point that there’s no accounting for taste. The figures for Tony Abbott are little changed, with a general pattern of very slight improvements. Gillard remains better placed than Abbott on each measure, being well ahead on down to earth and well behind on narrow-minded and arrogant.