A poll shows that Australians appear to be split over Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s judgment that her main political rival is sexist. Gillard’s fiery speech to Parliament on October 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. A poll by Sydney market research Newspoll published in The Australian newspaper Tuesday found that 45 per cent of respondents said Abbott had behaved in a sexist way toward Gillard recently and 39 per cent said he had not. There was no clear majority view, with 16 per cent of respondents undecided. 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.