Talk of a Bennelong poll from the Daily Telegraph prompted much excited chatter yesterday, but it turns out to be a semi-qualitative study with a sample of 200. John Howard has 87 backers against 86 for Maxine McKew, with only one in five swinging or first-time voters backing Howard. The Townsville Bulletin brings us a poll of 209 respondents in Herbert, conducted by consultants AEC Group. It shows Labor’s candidate George Colbran and Liberal incumbent Peter Lindsay each on 41 per cent of the primary vote, with Colbran leading 53-47 on two-party preferred a swing of 9 per cent. A similar poll published in early September produced the same result.