New South Wales federal redistribution proposal

Analysis of draft federal boundaries for New South Wales, which propose abolishing the seat of North Sydney.

The proposed federal redistribution for New South Wales, requiring the abolition of one of its 47 seats, is being published today. The boundaries will presumably be up on the Australian Electoral Commission site shortly, but for now there a gazetted notice informs us that the proposal abolishes North Sydney, held by teal independent Kylea Tink. The fact that no other electorate names are identified as having been abolished, and the revelation that More to follow.

UPDATE: Full boundaries now available on the AEC site, and here are my two-candidate and two-party preferred (the latter boiling it down to Labor and Coalition) estimates for the new margins. Teals are treated as a single entity so, for example, where Warringah gains territory from North Sydney, Kylea Tink’s votes there are transferred to Zali Steggall. In areas where there was no teal candidate last time though, it’s not possible to estimate how they would have gone.

UPDATE 2: I just unearthed an error in the code that was causing errors in a few places, notably Hume and Eden-Monaro. The numbers below should add up now.

UPDATE 3: My analysis of the new boundaries has just been published in Crikey.

Polls: Roy Morgan and RedBridge NSW state (open thread)

Rather surprising federal and New South Wales state poll results, plus the latest on a seemingly uneventful state by-election to be held the Saturday after next.

Two disturbances to an otherwise quiet week on the polling front:

• The usual weekly Roy Morgan poll is something of an outlier in recording a 53.5-46.5 lead for Labor, out from 52-48 last week and 51.5-48.5 in favour of the Coalition the week before. Despite this, Labor’s primary vote is actually down half a point to 30.5%, with the Coalition down one to 35%, the Greens up one-and-a-half to 15.5% and One Nation up one to 5.5%. We are also told that state breakdowns had Labor ahead 56-44 in New South Wales and 57.5% in Victoria and the Coalition ahead 53-47 in Queensland, which would respectively among to swings of 4.6%, 2.7% and 1.0% to Labor. The poll was conducted Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1687.

• As reported in the Daily Telegraph, RedBridge Group has a third state poll combining survey waves from February and May to follow on from its earlier results for Victoria and Queensland, this time for New South Wales from a sample of 1376. The result is perhaps surprisingly bleak for Chris Minns’ Labor government, which is credited with a two-partly lead of just 50.5-49.5, compared with its 54.3-45.7 winning margin at the March 2023 election. The primary votes are Labor 35%, compared with 37.0% at the election, Coalition 40%, compared with 35.4%, and Greens 11%, compared with 9.7%. Despite this, 40% separately rate the government’s performance as good or very good compared with 20% for poor and 32% for neither, while “the Liberal-National opposition led by Mark Speakman” scores 19% positive, 21% negative and 41% neither.

Staying in New South Wales, a by-election for the safe Nationals seat of Northern Tablelands will be held on June 22. The Nationals candidate is Brendan Moylan, a Moree solicitor who outgoing member Adam Marshall says was “overwhelmingly” preselected in a vote of around 200 local party members. Labor is not fielding a candidate, with Moylan’s competition consisting of Shooters Fishers and Farmers, the Greens and two independents.

Newspoll: 50-50 (open thread)

Newspoll gives Labor its equal worst result of the term, with Anthony Albanese taking a knock on both personal approval and preferred prime minister.

The Australian reports the latest Newspoll has Labor and the Coalition tied on two-party preferred, the first such result since November and only the second for the term, closing a 52-48 lead in the last result three weeks ago. Labor is down a point on the primary vote to 33% while the Coalition is up two to 39%, its best result since August 2021, with the Greens down two to 11% and One Nation steady at 7%. Anthony Albanese’s lead over Peter Dutton as preferred prime minister has reportedly been cut since the last poll, in which he led when Anthony Albanese led 52-33, from nineteen points to eight, though we will have to wait on the exact results (UPDATE: Albanese’s lead is 46-37). Albanese is down four on approval to 43% with disapproval up three to 50%, while Dutton is up one to 39% and down one to 49%. The poll was conducted Monday to Friday from a sample of 1232.

European parliament election live

Far-right parties are expected to make gains. Also covered: UK Labour remains over 20 points ahead and Trump still leads in US polls after his conviction.

Live Commentary

12:10pm The Europe Elects live results forecast now has the right-wing ECR group moving into third ahead of the liberal Renew group with 81 seats to 80. This is because two liberal parties missed the 4% threshold in Italy, so neither won any seats. Had they formed a joint list, they would have won seats.

9:20am Tuesday The final Italian results have the governing right-wing Brothers of Italy on 28.8% (up 22.3% since 2019), the centre-left Democrats on 24.1% (up 1.4%), the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement on 10.0% (down 7.1%), the conservative Forza Italia on 9.6% (up 1.1%), the far-right League on 9.0% (down 25.3%) and a left-wing party on 6.7% (up 2.6%).

5:58pm In German final EU results, the conservative CDU/CSU won 29 seats (steady), the far-right AfD 15 (up four), the Social Democrats 14 (down two), the Greens 12 (down nine), the economically left but socially right BSW six (new), the liberal FDP five (steady), the Left three (down two) and a pro-Europe party three (up two).

5:01pm In Poland, final results have the liberal to conservative Civic Platform narrowly ahead of the Law and Justice party by 37-36 with 12% for the far-right Kon.

4:56pm Final French results have the far-right National Rally winning 31.4% (up 8.1 since 2019), Macron’s party 14.6% (down 7.8), a centre-left party 13.8% (up 7.6), the far-left 9.9% (up 3.6), the conservatives 7.2% (down 1.3), the Greens 5.5% (down 8.0) and another far-right party 5.5%.

4:44pm The biggest gains vs the current European parliament composition in the Europe Elects forecast are for Non-Inscrits (up 27), the EPP (up 14) and ECR (up 10). The biggest losses are for the Greens (down 21) and the Liberals (down 17).

9:32am The Greens are now down to 51 seats on the Europe Elects live forecast, five below the 56 seats they were expected to win yesterday, and 23 below what they won in 2019.

9:30am In Hungary, with 76% counted, the far-right governing Fidesz has 44%, (down 8.6% since 2019), but the main opposition is a new conservative party, which has 30%. Left-wing parties had little support.

8:26am There’s a big swing to a conservative party and against the Greens in Belgium’s national election today, with the conservatives up ten seats and the Greens down 11 seats.

8:19am Based on partial and near-complete results from some countries, and polls from others, the Europe Elects current forecast is for the conservative EPP group to win 194 of the 720 seats, the centre-left S&D 137, the liberal Renew 83, the Eurosceptic ECR 72, the far-right ID 63, the Greens 55 and the far-left 38. Non-aligned Non-Inscrits (NI) will win the remaining 78 seats; these include far-right parties that were expelled from other groups. These results are better for the EPP and worse for Renew, the ECR and ID than yesterday’s forecast (see below).

7:41am In Spain, the conservative People’s Party has gained nine seats for 22 to be the most popular party ahead of the governing Socialists with 20. Other seats have gone to right and left-wing parties.

7:35am In Germany, the far-right AfD has surged into second place with 16 seats, up five from 2019, with the Greens down nine seats to 12.

7:30am With 77% counted in France, National Rally has 35%, Macron’s party 14.4% and the centre-left 12.9%.

7:08am Monday After a disastrous result for French president Emmanuel Macron’s liberal party, in which they finished a distant second to the far-right National Rally, Macron has called snap parliamentary elections for June 30 (first round) and July 7 (runoffs). Macron’s party does not currently have a parliamentary majority. These elections will be for the French lower house, not for the presidency.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The European parliament (EU) election is being held from Thursday to today, with vote counting starting once all countries have finished voting. Italy will be the last country to finish voting at 7am AEST Monday, so this is when counting starts. This is the first EU election since Brexit, so the UK won’t be involved.

The 720 seats are elected using proportional representation in each EU country. The countries that have the most seats are Germany (96 seats), France (81), Italy (76), Spain (61) and Poland (53).

European parties are grouped according to their political alignment. The conservative European People’s Party (EPP) includes all conservative parties from the various countries, while the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group includes all centre-left parties.

In 2019, the EPP won 187 of the 751 seats, the S&D 147, the liberal Renew 98, the Greens 74, the far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) 76, the soft Eurosceptic Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) 62 and the far-left 41. Non-Inscrits (NI), who are not grouped into a European faction, won the remaining 57 seats.

Far-right parties are expected to make gains at this election. The final Europe Elects forecast is for the EPP to win 184 of the 720 seats, the S&D 136, Renew 87, the ECR 74, ID 67, the Greens 56 and the far-left 37. The NI had 79 seats in this forecast, and this included far-right parties such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and Hungary’s governing Fidesz that have been expelled by other EU factions.

If far-right parties don’t do as well as expected, turnout could be a factor. People who support far-right parties are likely to have a lower educational attainment than those who oppose the far-right. Higher educational attainment means a higher likelihood of voting in an optional voting system.

The Belgian national parliament election will be held concurrently with the EU election. The 150 seats are elected by PR in 11 multi-member electorates with a 5% threshold per electorate. The Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (Flanders) is very right-wing, while the French-speaking part (Wallonia) is very left-wing.

UK election: Labour remains over 20 points ahead

The UK general election is on July 4. The Guardian’s national poll aggregate has Labour on 44.0% (down 0.7 since last Tuesday), the Conservatives on 23.4% (down 0.4), the far-right Reform on 11.9% (up 0.7), the Liberal Democrats on 9.7% (up 0.6) and the Greens on 5.7% (up 0.1). Reform has gained a little since Nigel Farage announced he would contest Clacton on June 3, but Labour remains way ahead, and would win a massive landslide if the election results replicate these polls.

Nominations for the election closed on Friday. If a candidate does something embarrassing, they can’t be withdrawn from the ballot paper, only publicly disendorsed by their party. UK elections are managed by local governments, so there are no easily accessible national lists of candidates, as there would be with Australia’s electoral commissions. Reform has said it will stand candidates in 630 of the 650 Commons seats and the Greens 575. Presumably, Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems will contest all seats not in Northern Ireland.

US election: Trump still leads

The US general election is on November 5. It’s been over a week since Donald Trump’s May 30 conviction. In FiveThirtyEight’s tracker of national polls, Trump leads Joe Biden by 40.9-39.9 with 9.4% for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Trump led by 1.7 points on May 30. Biden’s best chance to win the Electoral College is to win all of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, states where he currently trails by 1.5 points or less.

YouGov: 50-50 (open thread)

Plus new Victorian and Queensland state polls, and an update on Liberal ructions ensuing from proposed new federal boundaries for Victoria.

The three-weekly YouGov federal poll records little change on last time, with two-party preferred steady at 50-50 from primary votes of Labor 30% (steady), Coalition 38% (steady), Greens 14% (up one) and One Nation 8% (steady). Anthony Albanese’s personal ratings are also unchanged at 41% approval and 53% disapproval, but Peter Dutton is down four on approval to 38% and up three on disapproval to 51%. Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister is at 47-36, out from 44-37. The poll also finds an 84-16 split in favour of the proposition that workers have a right to strike for better wages and job security. It was conducted Friday to Tuesday from a sample of 1500.

There are also two state voting intention results from RedBridge Group, both combining two waves of polling in February and May:

• As reported in the Herald Sun, a poll for Victoria credits Labor with lead of 55-45, out from 54-46 in the last such poll in March, contrasting with the recent bi-monthly Resolve Strategic result which suggested the Coalition had moved into the lead. The primary votes are Labor 35% (down one), Coalition 38% (steady) and Greens 14% (up four). Kevin Bonham on Twitter notes that these primary votes suggest a 53-47 result based on a crude application of flows from the last election, but pollster Kos Samaras says the cumulative “others” pool has moved leftwards because “most of the right-wing minor party votes have shifted to the Coalition”. A full accounting of the results from the pollster should be along shortly. (UPDATE: The pollster has published the full result together with a full account of its “others” pool).

• The second poll such poll is for Queensland, and it maintains Labor’s run of diabolical polling there ahead of an election in October. The Liberal National Party is credited with a two-party lead of 57-43 from primary votes of Labor 28%, LNP 47% and Greens 12%. The poll has a sample of 880, and is somewhat at odds with a union-commissioned uComms polling provided last week to The Australian’s Feeding the Chooks column, conducted on May 14 from a sample of 2400, which found Labor had gone from 26.9% to 30.0% from an earlier poll April, while the LNP had gone from 35.1% to 33.7%, the Greens from 13.0% to 10.9% and One Nation from 10.0% to 5.2%, with undecided down from 16% to 10%.

Latest news related to the various federal redistributions in progress, following last week’s publication of draft boundaries for Victoria and Western Australia:

• The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the proposed new federal boundaries for New South Wales, which will involve the abolition of one of the state’s 47 seats, will be published “around lunchtime” on Friday.

• Suggestions the redistribution proposal for Victoria may have strengthened the Liberals in Kooyong prompted a flurry of speculation concerning a comeback by Josh Frydenberg, with Josh Butler of The Guardian reporting on divided opinions within the party. Seemingly the only one to go on the record was soon-to-retire Queensland member Karen Andrews, who spoke approvingly of the idea, which would potentially have been helpful to a Frydenberg comeback given one of the chief obstacles is the optics involved in deposing an already preselected female candidate, Amelia Hamer. Antony Green was initially invoked as having calculated the seat had been strengthened for the Liberals, which many had taken as read given blue-ribbon Toorak was part of the area to be gained from abolished Higgins, but he shortly clarified it was not possible to infer independent member Monique Ryan’s level of support in areas where she was not on the ballot paper in 2022. The matter was shortly resolved in any case when Frydenberg declared his support for Hamer. Aaron Patrick of the Financial Review reported Frydenberg had commissioned Freshwater Strategy to poll the seat “several times”, with party sources saying the results “didn’t indicate he’d win”.

• The proposed abolition of Higgins has prompted suggestions defeated former Liberal member Katie Allen, who had again been preselected for the seat, will instead contest Chisholm, despite the party already having a candidate for that seat in Monash councillor Theo Zographos. Josh Ferguson of The Australian reports the party will challenge the abolition of Higgins in its submission in response to the proposed new boundaries. The report further says a political foundation established by the seat’s former member, Peter Costello, to help fund campaigning in the seat “is being eyed by Liberal bean counters to help stave off a feared collapse in fundraising capacity for the party”. A Liberal source is quoted saying the fund was established to ensure the money “was not ultimately seized by a factional rival”.

Polls: Essential Research, Roy Morgan and more (open thread)

One pollster finds undecided voters jumping off the fence, another finds a Labor slump last week was a one-off, and others yet offer insights on international affairs and things in general.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll has all the main players up on the primary vote, with the Coalition up two to 36%, Labor up one to 32% and the Greens recovering the three points they lost last time to return to 13%. Room is made for this by a two-point drop in the undecided component to 4% and a three point drop for One Nation to 5%. The pollster’s 2PP+ measure has Labor and the Coalition tied on 48%, with the balance undecided, after the Coalition led 47% to 46% last time. The monthly leadership ratings record little change for Anthony Albanese, steady on 43% approval and down one on disapproval to 47%, while Peter Dutton is down three on approval to 41% and up one on disapproval to 42%.

An occasional reading of national mood records a slight improvement on April, with 34% thinking the country headed on the right track, up two, compared with 49% for the wrong track, down one. Also featured are a series of questions on artificial intelligence and one on the impact of large technology companies, with 47% thinking them mostly negative for young people compared with 19% for positive, and 68% supporting an increase in the age limit on social media platforms from 13 to 16. Sixty-two per cent supported making hate speech a criminal offence with only 16% opposed, and 50% supported a weekend a month of national service for eighteen year olds consisting of paid full-time military placement, with 25% opposed, reducing to 46% and 26% for unpaid volunteer work. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Sunday from a sample of 1160.

The weekly Roy Morgan poll reverses a dip for Labor last week, their primary vote up two-and-a-half points to 31% with the Coalition down a point to 36%, the Greens down one to 14% and One Nation down one-and-a-half points to 4.5%. Labor now leads 52-48 on the respondent-allocated two-party preferred measure, after trailing 51.5-48.5 last time. The poll was conducted Monday to Sunday from a sample of 1579.

Also out this week is the Lowy Institute’s annual poll focusing on international issues, which affirms last year’s finding that Japan, the United Kingdom and France are trusted to act responsibly in the world, the United States, India and Indonesia a little less so, and China and Russia not at all. Joe Biden’s net rating turned negative, 46% expressing confidence, down thirteen on a year ago, and 50% lack of confidence, up twelve. Enthusiasm for Volodomyr Zelenskyy was off its earlier high, confidence down twelve to 60% and lack of confidence up seven to 29%, though this notably compares with 7% and 88% for Vladimir Putin, while Xi Zinping was at 12% and 75%. Fifty-six per cent rated the government as doing a good job on foreign policy compared with 41% for poor. The survey was conducted March 4 to 17 from a sample of 2028.

JWS Research’s quarterly-or-so True Issues issue salience report finds little change in the most important issues since February, with cost of living one of five issues nominated by 80% of respondents, well ahead of health on 58% and housing and interest rates on 55%. Nineteen per cent rated that the economy was heading in the right direction, unchanged on February, compared with 40% for the wrong direction, up one. An index score of the Albanese government’s performance records a two-point improvement to 47% after its lowest result to date in February.

Indian election vote counting live

Right-wing Indian PM Narendra Modi expected to easily win a third successive term. Also covered: upcoming European parliament, UK and US elections, and South African and Mexican results.

Live Commentary

7:05am Wednesday Just one seat remains to be declared, in which an INDIA alliance member is currently ahead. Modi’s NDA alliance has won 293 seats, while the INDIA alliance has won 229 and leads in one. While the NDA will retain a majority (272 needed for a majority), the BJP party (240 seats) is well below the majority they easily exceeded in 2019.

10:51pm 115 of the 543 seats have now been officially declared. The NDA leads in or has won 282 seats, while the INDIA alliance leads in or has won 175 seats. The BJP itself leads in or has won 240 seats, which would be 32 short of a majority and 63 down on 2019.

7:45pm The NDA leads in 278 seats to the INDIA alliance’s 173., with the BJP alone leading in 240 seats, well short of the 272 needed for a majority. The Indian electoral commission has declared four seats. In 2019, the BJP alone won 303 seats and its alliance got 353.

5:06pm The NDA now leads in 285 seats to 167 for the INDIA alliance. Modi’s BJP party leads in 243 seats, well short of a majority in its own right.

4:36pm The NDA has slipped back to 273 seats, only barely enough for a majority, while the INDIA alliance leads in 176 seats. All 543 seats now have some counting, so the remaining seats must be going to independents and others not aligned with either alliance. Contrary to polls, this doesn’t look like a Modi landslide.

3:33pm The NDA now leads in 278 seats, to 186 for the INDIA alliance. The seats the NDA now leads in are over the 272 needed for a majority.

2:27pm The NDA is now leading in 242 seats to 144 for the INDIA alliance. Unless late counting reverses the current trends, the NDA will win decisively. I have a one-hour appointment starting at 2:30pm, so I’ll next post after that.

2:11pm BJP and allies (NDA) now leading in 223 seats, to 121 for opposition INDIA alliance.

2:06pm Bloomberg says the BJP and allies are leading in 198 seats, while Congress and allies are leading in 127 seats. 272 seats are needed for a majority.

1:59pm With results in from 339 of the 543 seats, Modi’s BJP is leading in 169 seats, while their main opponents Congress are leading in 65 seats. I’m not sure about allied parties yet.

11:50am I expect official results to appear here from 12:30pm AEST.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The Indian election was held in seven stages, from April 19 to June 1. No interim results have been released, with vote counting to occur today. Counting will start at 8am Indian time (12:30pm AEST). The 543 MPs are elected by first past the post. India is the world’s most populous country, having overtaken China in 2023.

The right-wing alliance (NDA) of PM Narendra Modi, who is running for a third successive term, has a high-single to double-digit lead in polls over the opposition INDIA alliance. If the election results reflect the polls, the NDA will win a decisive majority owing to the single-member system. Exit polls released after voting finished Saturday also suggest a big majority for the NDA. Modi is easily the most popular global leader in Morning Consult’s tracker of leaders’ ratings, with 74% approval and 21% disapproval.

Other upcoming elections

The European parliament election will be held from Thursday to Sunday, with vote counting starting once all countries have finished voting. The 720 seats are elected using proportional representation in each EU country. Far-right parties are expected to make gains. I will have a post on this on Sunday.

The UK general election will be held on July 4. The Guardian’s national poll aggregate has Labour on 44.7% (steady since last Thursday), the Conservatives on 23.8% (up 0.5), the far-right Refrom on 11.2% (down 0.1), the Lib Dems on 9.1% (down 0.4) and the Greens on 5.6% (down 0.4). In the last week, there was a jump from a 14 to a 20-point Labour lead in an Opinium poll with other polls little changed.

Update 9:21am Tuesday: Nigel Farage will contest Clacton for Reform, and also becomes Reform’s leader. The JL Partners poll that previously had Labour’s lead at 12 points now has Labour leading by 17 points.

The US general election will be held on November 5. National polls conducted since the May 30 conviction of Donald Trump suggest a small movement to Joe Biden. If this is sustained, Biden should be able to overturn his 1.2% deficit to Trump in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of national polls and improve his chance to win the Electoral College.

ANC loses majority at South African election

The 400 South African MPs were elected by proportional representation without a threshold. The African National Congress (ANC) had won a majority of votes and seats at every election since the end of apartheid in 1994, but lost their majority at the May 29 election.

The ANC won 40.2% of the vote (down 17.3% since 2019), the centrist Democratic Alliance 21.8% (up 1.0%), former president Jacob Zuma’s left-wing populist MK 14.6% (new) and the communist EFF 9.5% (down 1.3%). The ANC won 159 seats, the DA 87, the MK 58 and the EFF 39. The ANC will need an alliance to get the 201 seats required for a majority.

Mexican left wins second successive landslide

Mexican presidents are elected for six-year terms by FPTP and cannot run for re-election. In 2018, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the left-wing MORENA party won a breakthrough victory for the left with 54.7%, with his nearest opponent on just 22.9%. At Sunday’s election, MORENA’s Claudia Sheinbaum crushed conservative Xóchitl Gálvez by 57.8-29.3 with 10.6% for a third party candidate (results at 5:40pm AEST Monday with 53% reporting). Sheinbaum is a former climate scientist and will be Mexico’s first female president.

Update 9:12am Tuesday: With 93% reporting, Sheinbaum wins by 59.2-27.8 with 10.4% for the third candidate. MORENA also held its majorities in the legislature.

Weekend miscellany: Senate preselections, electoral reform latest and more (open thread)

Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes dumped to an unwinnable position on the Coalition’s New South Wales ticket, and a return of talk about extra territory Senators.

The big electoral news for the week was the publication on Friday of proposed new federal boundaries for Victoria and Western Australia, which you can read all about on the dedicated post. Other than that:

• New South Wales Liberal Senator Hollie Hughes was dumped to fourth position on the Coalition ticket after running third in a Liberal preselection vote last weekend, the third position on the ticket being reserved to the Nationals. The top places will go to moderate incumbent Andrew Bragg and conservative challenger Jess Collins, who earlier ran unsuccessfully for preselection in North Sydney and for Marise Payne’s Senate vacancy. Hughes is part of the struggling centre right faction, but had endorsement from Peter Dutton, Jacinta Price and Michaelia Cash, while Collins was endorsed by Angus Taylor and Joe Hockey. Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph reports that “while the right were claiming a major win, the left claimed it was the result of a larger and less factional state council”. A distribution sheet showed Bragg scored 196 votes in the first round of voting to 146 for Collins, 145 for Hughes and 51 for also-ran Lincoln Parker, which became a 191 to 167 vote win for Collins over Hughes after distribution of Parker’s votes and Bragg’s 16-vote surplus.

• The second position on Labor’s Queensland Senate ticket appears set to go to Corrine Mulholland, in-house lobbyist at Star casinos and the party’s candidate for Petrie in 2022. This follows the withdrawal of her two mooted rivals, former state minister Kate Jones and former Townsville mayor Jenny Hill. Jones had been backed by Left faction heavyweight Gary Bullock in a scheme that would have overturned a convention that the top two positions be shared between the Left, whose incumbent Nita Green will lead the ticket, and the Right, which is backing Mulholland.

The West Australian reports preselection runner-up Howard Ong, IT consultant and former Australian Christian Lobby activist, has been confirmed as the new Liberal candidate for Tangney following the withdrawal of the initial winner, Mark Wales.

• Special Minister of State Don Farrell told Senate estimates on Thursday that the government had been seeking a cross-party deal on electoral reform that included doubling the number of Senators for the two territories, and that legislation could be expected “soon”. The government also hopes to introduce truth-in-advertising laws and real-time disclosure of campaign donations of greater than $10,000.

• I belatedly observe that Nine Newspapers’ report on Resolve Strategic’s quarterly state breakdowns includes data for Western Australia and South Australia for four sets of quarterly aggregations over the last year, where normally the pollster’s breakdowns are only for the three larger states.