REGIONAL and rural voters are more than a little frosty towards Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her challenger Tony Abbott.
An online poll designed by Fairfax Regional Digital Media to take the political temperature of its readers asked them to rate the performance of the leaders of the two major parties as hot or cold.
Of the 3252 people to vote, 29 per cent described Mr Abbott as ``very poor'', while Ms Gillard got a chilly 47.6 per cent in the lowest category.
Only 11 per cent considered Ms Gillard's performance ``very good'', slightly ahead of Mr Abbott on 10 per cent.
Just over a third chose Mr Abbott as their preferred prime minister, well ahead of the 20 per cent in Ms Gillard's corner.
Economic management was rated as the number one issue, followed by trust and leadership, and health and education.
More than half backed the Coalition as the best party for regional Australia. Most also ranked the opposition as best at managing the economy, cost of living issues, health and education and environment and heritage.
In a worrying sign for the government, more than 30 per cent of people did not even know the position of Minister for Regional Australia existed.
The online poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, allowed only one vote to be cast from each computer.