The Australian has published a Newspoll survey from a remarkable sample of “almost 3500 voters”, conducted in “the 18 most marginal Coalition seats in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia”. Key findings:
• Labor is looking at a collective swing of 9.6 per cent in the Queensland seats of Bonner (0.5 per cent), Moreton (2.8 per cent), Blair (5.7 per cent) and Herbert (6.2 per cent). Other Queensland seats that would fall with a uniform swing of that size include Longman (6.7 per cent), Petrie (7.4 per cent), Flynn (7.7 per cent), Hinkler (8.3 per cent), Bowman (8.9 per cent) and Dickson (8.9 per cent), though a couple of these seats are thought to be in less trouble than Leichhardt (10.3 per cent) and Ryan (10.4 per cent).
• The swing to Labor in the New South Wales marginals Parramatta (0.9 per cent), Wentworth (2.5 per cent), Lindsay (2.9 per cent), Eden-Monaro (3.3 per cent), Bennelong (4.2 per cent) and Dobell (4.8 per cent) is an unexpectedly modest 4.7 per cent. Interestingly, John Howard leads Kevin Rudd as preferred leader in these seats. Dennis Shanahan also reports that despite the Galaxy poll (which will apparently not be published until Sunday, by the Sunday Telegraph), “party sources on both sides” consider the Prime Minister to be “safe” in Bennelong.
• In Victoria, there is a collective swing of 7.3 per cent in Deakin (5.0 per cent), McMillan (5.0 per cent), Corangamite (5.3 per cent) and La Trobe (5.8 per cent). A uniform swing of that size in Victoria would also deliver Labor McEwen (6.4 per cent).
• Labor’s collective swing in the Adelaide marginals Kingston (0.1 per cent), Wakefield (0.7 per cent), Makin (0.9 per cent) and Boothby (5.4 per cent) is 5.8 per cent.
Dennis Shanahan’s take on this is that “the survey suggests the extent of the Coalition’s losses will be between eight seats … and 22 seats”. Using a normal interpretation based on uniform statewide swings, I count 24 – and that still leaves Bass, Braddon and Solomon outside the equation. Western Australia remains a wild card.