Today’s Hobart Mercury reports on a poll of the northern Tasmanian seats of Bass and Braddon, conducted by Melbourne company MarketMetrics on behalf of the Wilderness Society. From a sample of 492, it is said to show Labor on 61 per cent of the vote across the two seats, although it is not clear if this is primary or two-party preferred. In Bass, 27 per cent of respondents said they will be more likely to vote Liberal if Malcolm Turnbull rejects the Tamar Valley pulp mill proposal, while only 6 per cent said they will be more likely to do so if he approves it.
Labor has been very slightly embarrassed by the emergence of a university newspaper article by Dominic Rose, its play-dead 20-year-old candidate for Wilson Tuckey’s seat of O’Connor. Writing earlier this year in the student organ of the most august University of Western Australia, Rose expressed concern that Kevin Rudd came over as a filthy Liberal who seemed insufficiently enthusiastic about killing capitalist pig dogs and establishing a dictatorship of the proletariat. The comments seem to have been made in a spirit of undergraduate humour, and the kid proved quite adept at batting off deliveries from press gallery hard-nose Samantha Maiden of The Australian.
The Financial Review’s Rear Window column notes that retiring MPs’ parliamentary offices are being stripped by renovators, which should be a firm indicator that no more sitting weeks are contemplated. In the Poll Bludger’s experience, it doesn’t usually pay to read too much into this kind of thing. The report further notes: The smart money yesterday was still on the Prime Minister calling the election on or before October 13 just as NSW school holidays end for an election on either November 10 or 17, through the bookies still favour November 24. If Howard were to leave it until October 14, he would have to answer to taxpayers, with pollies incurring expenses for an unnecessary flight to Canberra for a non-existent sitting week.
John Ferguson of the Herald Sun brings us the unsurprising news that a marathon election campaign aimed at destroying Labor leader Kevin Rudd’s credibility is being backed by senior Liberal strategists. A six-week campaign is apparently favoured, which would mean November 17 if it was called this weekend which, Ferguson tells us, is what Labor privately believes will happen. The Prime Minister will say no more than that it will be held some day between now and early December.
Crikey yesterday reported a rumour that Bowman MP Andrew Laming, who was recently cleared by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions over the printgate affair, might yet be bumped aside by the Liberals before the election. It was said that his replacement would be Peter Dowling, a Redland Shire councillor.
The following sentence unaccountably interrupts a piece on political blogging by good egg Dennis Atkins of the Courier-Mail: Forget the hype, it is not going to be called for at least 12 days, probably 17.
This might not sound too promising, but SportingBet has produced a remarkably attractive and comprehensive election form guide covering all marginal seats.