It could well be the last Question Time edition …
Dennis Shanahan of The Australian reports that the Prime Minister is considering calling the election within three weeks. A return of parliament on October 15 is not ruled out, but is rated unlikely.
Antony Green’s federal election guide should be in business at the ABC Elections page from around 9am. A new feature will be the election calculator showcased by Antony on Tuesday’s edition of Lateline.
The ALP hierarchy appears to have pulled the rug from under its candidate for Cowper, John Fitzroy, by reopening nominations for the seat. This decision reflects Labor’s increasing confidence it can overhaul Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker’s 6.6 per cent margin. It is expected the nomination will now go to local training consultant Paul Sekfy, who ran in 1993, 1996 and 1998 without cutting the margin below 4.1 per cent. Fitzroy was preselected unopposed in June and, according to The Australian’s Imre Salusinszky, recently quit his job with the local area health service to conduct his campaign.
Eden-Monaro has been the focus of much attention this week. Both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader campaigned in Queanbeyan on Wednesday, where Kevin Rudd proved unable to tell a reporter much about current income tax scales. On the same day, it emerged that Liberal member Gary Nairn’s chief-of-staff Dr Peter Phelps had told Mike Kelly, decorated Iraq war veteran and Labor candidate, that his attitude to his service was that of a Nazi concentration camp guard.
Andrew Fraser of The Australian reports that the parliament’s two non-retiring independents, Kennedy MP Bob Katter and New England MP Tony Windsor, spelt out their terms in the event of a hung parliament. Windsor says he will back whichever party wins the most seats or, in the event of a tie, the most votes. Katter will support the party that promises to mandate 10 per cent ethanol in petrol. One suspects there will be more than one such party, if that’s what it comes to.
At the end of what has been a surprisingly good week for the government, the Daily Telegraph has gone in hard against Labor on successive days, running its politics coverage under the banners Rudd’s bungle and Rudd’s meltdown.
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