Glenn Milne identifies three election date options for the Prime Minister: go to Yarralumla next weekend for a six-week campaign and a November 17 poll, wait another week after that and run to November 24, or let Parliament resume its scheduled sittings from October 15 to 25 then go to a December 1 poll.
Dennis Shanahan of The Australian summarises recent reports of internal party polling thus:
There have been reports ALP polling shows Labor can win 10 seats in NSW, including the seat of Eden-Monaro, which has changed hands with government since 1972. Equally ostensibly secret polling names unlikely seats in Melbourne, such as Goldstein, falling to Labor and seats in Adelaide such as Boothby and Sturt being added to the three more marginal seats of Makin, Wakefield and Kingston, in South Australia. In the Northern Territory Solomon is assumed to be gone, as are Bass and Braddon in Tasmania … Recently the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported on its front page: Labor is set to secure such a massive swing in NSW that the Liberals have formally surrendered all hope of winning a single new seat anywhere in this state at the federal election. As Kevin Rudd arrived in Sydney last night to base himself locally for the next three days, Labor polling shows 10 NSW seats could fall its way. The Australian reported on its front page: Labor is headed for a landslide victory in the crucial federal bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro, according to leaked ALP research. The polling, obtained by The Australian, found the count would not even go to preferences, with Labor candidate Mike Kelly attracting 51 per cent of the primary vote over Special Minister of State Gary Nairn on 39 per cent. The Melbourne Herald-Sun reported ALP polling showing that Labor has dramatically expanded the number of target seats it hopes to win, with ALP elders declaring even previously rock-solid Coalition fortresses now in play, including Goldstein, which is held by more than 10per cent.
Friday’s West Australian (no link available) reports growing concern within the Liberal Party that it may lose the blue-ribbon WA seat of Forrest at the coming election not to Labor but to an Independent with a high profile:
Noel Brunning, a former newsreader with Prime TVs Golden West News, is believed to be picking up strong interest among the voters despite his stop-start campaign. Internal Liberal Party polling is believed to have shown that Mr Brunning, 40, has a higher recognition in southern WA than either the Liberal candidate Nola Marino or Labor’s Peter MacFarlane. Forrest is being vacated by former minister Geoff Prosser at the next election and although the margin is a comfortable 10.5 per cent, the retirement of Mr Prosser after 20 years means the contest will be much closer. Not helping the Liberals campaign is the fact that the preselectors preferred candidate, Busselton Shire councillor Philippa Reid, withdrew from the contest late last year citing concern her involvement in Corruption and Crime Commission hearings into the $330 million Canal Rocks development would damage the party. Cr Reid’s relationship with divisive former Liberal powerbroker Noel Crichton-Browne was also causing concern within the party.
After last week’s bad Boothby opinion poll and excruciating radio interview, John Wiseman of The Australian reports that Labor closed ranks behind its South Australian glamour candidate Nicole Cornes yesterday, scotching suggestions that she might have booted an own goal with her latest media gaffe. It now seems I might have been too quick to dismiss the poll’s finding that Cornes was doing particularly badly among women voters. While I don’t imagine he has too many fans among this site’s readership, Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun might have been on to something here:
I suspect it’s because they’ve never liked women who just get by on looks. It seems an insult to clever women and a threat not just to the plain. Cornes’ status as a second wife only speaks to that distrust and contempt.
A $5 billion federal government roads package to be unveiled this week will reportedly include plans for a $2 billion upgrade of the Bruce Highway from Brisbane to Cairns, and a $1 billion upgrade of the Pacific Highway from Sydney to Brisbane. The latter is of significance to the sensitive north coast seats of Page, Cowper and Paterson, while the Bruce Highway funding targets Hinkler, Flynn, Herbert and Leichhardt. As noted this morning by Barrie Cassidy on Insiders, this has prompted newspapers in Melbourne and Adelaide to complain the southern states have been snubbed.
The Griffith University’s regular VAMPIRE (vulnerability assessment for mortgage, petrol and inflation risks and expenditure) study has identified what the Financial Review describes as 11 marginal and fairly safe Liberal seats in which more than half of all households are facing petrol and mortgage stress: Moreton, Bonner, Lindsay, Macquarie, Deakin, La Trobe, Wakefield, Makin, Kingston, Hasluck and Stirling.
The last Brisbane Liberal remaining under the cloud of the printgate affair, Bowman MP Andrew Laming, has been cleared by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
The High Court has published the ruling that struck down legislation removing the right to vote from all prisoners in full-time custody.
Having noted similar long-term trends, I thought it might be interesting to compare aggregated polling figures from Australia and New Zealand since the end of last year. New Zealand figures are a rough average of Roy Morgan and DigiPoll, Australia’s are from Reuters Poll Trend plus a September figure from Bryan Palmer.