Intelligence briefing

Some late indications on what’s happening on the ground, including a number of polls conducted for small newspapers which may or may not be reliable, but all power to them for having a go.

Hinkler (Qld, Nationals 2.3%): Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that this is "the only Liberal (sic) marginal in the entire country Labor has written off, for internal reasons". Those reasons presumably relate to their twice-unsuccessful candidate Cheryl Dorron, installed by an affirmative action ruling after losing the preselection ballot. Ramsey also reports that "the Government is optimistic it has regained ground in Adelaide but remain concerned about Queensland, both around Brisbane and on the north coast".

Hasluck (WA, Labor 1.8%), Stirling (WA, Labor 1.6%) and Swan (WA, Labor 2.1%): Paul Everingham, director of the WA Liberal Party, told Amanda Banks of The Australian on Monday that "we are right in there in Hasluck, but it is going to be difficult for us in Stirling and Swan". Perth academics Harry Phillips and David Black are quoted saying Labor had "gained ground" during the campaign in these seats. The Poll Bludger will take their word for it, and has accordingly returned Stirling to the Labor side of the ledger, cancelling out his recent change of heart in Bass.

Herbert (Qld, Liberal 1.5%): The Townsville Bulletin ran a poll from a sample of 472 on Saturday which found Liberal member Peter Lindsay and Labor candidate Anita Phillips tied on 38 per cent of the primary vote, or a bit over 41 per cent after distribution of the 8 per cent undecided. With the Greens on about 8 per cent this would give Phillips a fairly comfortable win.

La Trobe (Vic, Liberal 3.7%): Newspapers in the suburban Leader group have run a poll conducted by Oz Info of 300 voters which shows Liberal candidate Jason Wood leading Labor’s Susan Davies 52-48 on two-party preferred. The pollsters could only get an answer from three-quarters of respondents, which can usually be taken as a sign of inexperience.

Farrer (NSW, Liberal 13.1%) and Indi (Vic, Liberal 10.7%): The Border Mail carried pointless but well-meaning polls of 600 voters from each of these two seats that showed Liberal members Sussan Ley (56 per cent of the primary vote) and Sophie Panopoulos (59 per cent) with predictably little to worry about.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.