Opposition leader Tony Abbott is basking in the glory that he is the preferred PM of Australia in the first Newspoll for 2012.

This is the lowest start in the polls Labor has ever experienced with the Coalition leading the government 54 – 46 in the two-party preferred stakes.

The PM’s approval rating fell from 36 per cent last month to a low 33 per cent while Mr Abbott’s preferred rating stayed solid at 40 per cent meaning if Australia were to go to the polls, the Coalition would comfortably win.

The survery was taken over three days starting from Friday last week, a day after the Australia Day protests from the Aboriginal tent embassy.

Labor MPs will gather this weekend to discuss ideas for the party for the new year while Mr Abbott will address the National Press Club outlining the Coalition’s parliamentary attack for the year.

Speculation is mounting that previous PM Kevin Rudd may be making a leadership challenge some time this year.