Two local marginal seat polls have brought relatively good news for the Coalition, though it would probably not do to read too much into them. Yesterday the Newcastle Herald brought us a survey of 300 respondents from the Port Stephens area seat of Paterson, which showed Liberal member Bob Baldwin enjoying a counter-intuitive primary vote lead over Labor candidate Jim Arneman of 46 per cent to 32 per cent. The respective figures from the 2004 election were 52.0 per cent and 36.1 per cent. It also points to a similarly unlikely non-major party vote of 21 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent in 2004. The accompanying article’s reference to a 0.1 per cent margin for error raises serious questions about the paper’s statistical expertise. No such concerns with a poll of 297 respondents from the Adelaide seat of Sturt, conducted by the Adelaide University’s politics department and published on the ABC Adelaide website. Nonetheless, the result sounds a little unlikely: a 50 per cent primary vote for Liberal incumbent Christopher Pyne, down just slightly from 51.7 per cent from 2004, with Labor on 40 per cent, up from 34.5 per cent. This translates into a 55-45 win for Pyne and a two-party swing to Labor of around 2 per cent.