There is a strong possibility this site will suffer a service interruption today. Rest assured that it shouldn’t last too long.
Samantha Maiden of The Australian tells us that Crosby Textor polling for the Liberals has detected a lift in the Coalition’s primary vote. On the other hand, Lenore Taylor of the Financial Review hears the Liberals might overstate, or even fabricate, the results of ‘internal’ polling to try to influence what Crosby Textor calls ‘win expectations’ and to buoy the mood of the troops. Nonetheless, the paper’s Marcus Priest lists Queensland marginals which Liberal polling shows to be in trouble: Forde, Leichhardt, Flynn, Moreton, Ryan, Bonner and Blair. Lenore Taylor reports that the Coalition is playing for a best-case scenario in which it hangs on by limiting the damage to two seats in Queensland (presumably Bonner and Moreton) and zero in Western Australia.
Paul McLoughlin has been replaced as Liberal candidate for Calwell by Dianne Livett, the candidate from 2004. According to Gerard McManus of the Herald-Sun, McLoughlin was asked to quit after he sent a heavy-handed email to suburban journalists. The Age tells it somewhat differently: party sources said McLoughlin had irritated the party by stepping down for personal reasons, having become fed up with the campaign. In other candidate substitution news, solicitor Mike Bathersby has replaced rough-and-ready union type Shane Guley as the Labor candidate for Maranoa.
The Australian Electoral Commission informs us that there are 13,645,073 Australians eligible to vote at the November 24 election. According to Labor, this represents an increase of 77,000 in the three days between the election announcement and the close of rolls. Labor says this compares with 157,000 from the equivalent period in 2004 (which was then a week longer), pointing to a gap of 80,000 voters not on the roll who would have been if the government hadn’t fiddled the rules. However, the Australian Electoral Commission’s vigorous advertising campaign would have partly alleviated the damage.
A snappy overview of the psephoblogosphere from Rachel Hills in the Sunday Age, which introduces comments regulars TofK and Julie to the ordinary man on the street.