The following should be old news for the type of person who visits this site, but I will reiterate it for the record. The post-budget Newspoll has produced a surprise 2 per cent two-party shift in Labor’s favour, despite strong support for the budget itself, while another post-budget poll from Galaxy has Labor leading 57-43. There is slightly better news for the Coalition from a Galaxy poll of 800 voters in the Prime Minister’s electorate of Bennelong, which puts Labor’s lead at a not-insurmountable 52-48. Other developments of the past week:
Gerard McManus of the Herald Sun gives some background to ALP state secretary Mark Arbib’s bid for Senate preselection in New South Wales:
Arbib reportedly wants to take over from Victorian senator Stephen Conroy as Labor’s Senate deputy leader a contest that will cause serious internal ructions. However, under the original plan Arbib was to have taken the place of Michael Forshaw, a senator since 1994, who had himself taken the spot of another Labor head office chief, Graham Richardson. Senator Forshaw is not up for re-election and therefore his resignation would have created a casual vacancy for Arbib to step in. The problem was Senator Forshaw refused to go, demanding a promise in writing that he would be looked after in a similar way to the way Senator Amanda Vanstone was recently taken care of when she quit the Senate. But when the NSW powerbrokers declined to oblige, Forshaw decided to stay put, forcing the party to tip another woman, Senator Ursula Stevens (sic – should be Stephens – PB), down to the precarious third spot on the Senate ticket at the coming election. Senator Stevens is a former party president and possibly the only Labor senator who did not come straight from a union or an MP’s office into parliament.
Don Farrell, the powerful state secretary of the Right faction Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, has announced he will run for Labor Senate preselection in South Australia. It would appear that he is set to take the faction’s reserved position from incumbent Linda Kirk, who fell from favour after backing Kevin Rudd’s leadership bid in December and defying the conservative union’s opposition to the RU486 abortion pill. Farrell had earlier denied having designs on the seat, leading to a consensus that Kirk would be replaced by Adelaide lawyer Tim Stanley. According to Greg Kelton of The Advertiser, Mr Farrell last ran for Parliament 20 years ago in the seat of Adelaide but was defeated after a particularly vicious campaign with racist overtones. This refers to a 1988 by-election held upon the resignation of Chris Hurford, at which Labor lost a seat it had held since 1943; perhaps this site’s South Australian readers can provide further detail on the nature of the campaign.
John Watson, a Tasmanian Liberal Senator since 1977, was dumped from the party ticket in Saturday’s preselection vote. The ticket will be headed by incumbent Richard Colbeck, followed by two political staffers, David Bushby and Don Morris.
Colourful Melbourne libertarian Prodos Marinakis, whose endorsement as Liberal candidate for the state seat of Richmond was overturned by the party on the grounds that he was too interesting, has withdrawn his nomination for the Melbourne preselection citing personal reasons”.