Federal MPs return to parliament this week for the first time since the Australian Greens broke up with Labor but a new opinion poll may attract most of the attention.

The next Newspoll will probably add more fodder to speculation about whether Labor stays with Prime Minister Julia Gillard or returns to Kevin Rudd.

Senators return to Canberra for the first time since Greens leader Christine Milne told Ms Gillard last week their post-2010 election deal was over.

It remains a relationship of convenience, however, as the Greens will continue to vote in favour of the government on supply and no-confidence motions until the election, due in September.

It is more about product differentiation.

The minor party will introduce a bill in the Senate this week to allow single parents to work more hours and receive up to $127 more a fortnight in government payments.

This would cost the budget $1.44 billion over four years, to be funded by a proposed change in one of the mining tax's loopholes.

Treasure Wayne Swan will not alter the mining tax, despite the revenue hole in the budget after it raised only $126 million in the six months to December.

It was forecast to reap $2 billion this financial year.

Labor strategists will wait for the Newspoll to see if there is any electoral bounce or if the crater in its standing persists.

A Newspoll, released three weeks ago, had the coalition ahead 56 to 44 per cent in the two-party preferred poll, which was a similar result in the Nielsen poll last week.

Nielsen also revealed opposition leader Tony Abbott had overtaken Ms Gillard as preferred prime minister, 49 per cent to 45 per cent.

Mr Rudd was favoured by 61 per cent, compared to 35 per cent for Ms Gillard.

A Galaxy poll on Saturday said a switch to Mr Rudd would give Labor a 53 to 47 per cent lead in Queensland, instead of a coalition lead of 55 to 45 per cent if Ms Gillard remained leader.

Under Mr Rudd, Labor would win back six of the seven seats it lost at the 2010 election on such figures.

Ms Gillard announced on Sunday a reading blitz to improve children's literacy levels.

This announcement is unlikely to cut through the white noise that surrounds the recent dismal polls for Labor.

 

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