Gillard's fiery speech to Parliament on Oct. 9 in which she branded opposition leader Tony Abbott a misogynist for a string of allegedly sexist comments has been lauded by feminists around the world.
Abbott apologized last week for suggesting that Gillard's government was inexperienced in family policy—a criticism some saw as a cheap shot at Gillard, who has no children.
A poll by Sydney market researcher Newspoll published Tuesday in The Australian newspaper found that 45 percent of respondents said Abbott had behaved in a sexist way toward Gillard recently and 39 percent said he had not. There was no clear majority view, with 16 percent of respondents undecided.
How Abbott was judged on the sexism charge closely correlated with how respondents intend to vote at general elections next year.
Of those who said Abbott is sexist, 66 percent support Gillard's center-left Labor Party. Of those who said he is not, 76 percent back his conservative coalition.
The poll was based on a random telephone survey of 1,218 voters nationwide at the weekend. It had a 3 percentage point margin of error.