Another old thread title reactivated, for the want of a newer and better idea. It’s looking like the war won’t be phoney for long, with a growing sense that the Prime Minister will be forced to break the circuit next week by calling an election for late October. Keeping the faith is Christopher Pearson at The Australian, who still expects a narrow Coalition victory. This is based on the fact that Newspoll got it horribly wrong in 2004, when its final poll overstated the Labor vote by 1.4 per cent and understated the Coalition vote by 1.7 per cent.
Bass (Tas, Liberal 2.6%) and Lyons (Tas, Labor 3.7%): The Australian reports Shadow Environment Minister Peter Garrett has backtracked on suggestions the proposed West Tamar pulp mill would be subjected to an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, under a party policy covering new projects producing more than 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. According to reporter Matthew Denholm, this apparently followed the intervention of Kevin Rudd’s office and a backlash by timber groups and pro-logging Labor MPs. On the other side of the fence, the Liberal candidate for Lyons, Ben Quin, does not appear of a mind to back down after his party threatened him with disciplinary action for publicly stating his opposition to the mill.
Moreton (Qld, Liberal 2.8%) and Bonner (Qld, Liberal 0.7%): Labor has promised to commit up to $300 million to begin construction of an underpass at the junction of Mains and Kessels roads in Macgregor in Brisbane’s south. The junction is located just inside Moreton and near the boundary of Bonner. The Courier-Mail records the following reaction from embattled Moreton MP Gary Hardgrave, who claims the resumption of businesses in the area will cost thousands of jobs: I couldn’t believe my luck. I was always going to win the seat but this now ensures the swing is on.
La Trobe (Vic, Liberal 5.8%): While Labor is wanting for low-hanging fruit in Victoria, Rick Wallace of The Australian reports this outer eastern Melbourne electorate has been upgraded to target seat status, although well-placed Labor sources say Labor has made greater gains in Queensland.
Ballarat (Vic, Labor 2.2%): Labor member Catherine King suffered a self-inflicted wound last weekend when Kevin Rudd’s office ordered the withdrawal of a television ad which attacked Liberal candidate Samantha McIntosh for having a $2.2 million property on the market.
Newcastle (NSW, Labor 8.7%): The Daily Telegraph reports prominent Newcastle businessman and city councillor Aaron Buman is considering standing as an independent.