Morgan has released two sets of federal poll results: a mid-week phone poll of 765 respondents, and a face-to-face poll of 897 respondents conducted last weekened. Morgan has gone against normal practice by using preferences distributed by how electors say they will vote for the headline two-party measure for the phone poll, which puts Labor’s lead at 64-36. The more reliable preferences distributed by how electors voted at the 2007 election has it at 62.5-37.5, down from 63.5-36.5 last week. The face-to-face poll has it at 62-38, the same as the previous such poll conducted a fortnight ago.
The main starters are in place for the Gippsland by-election. The Nationals have nominated Darren Chester, staffer to state party leader Peter Ryan; Labor has nominated Wellington Shire mayor Darren McCubbin; and the Liberal candidate is Central Gippsland Health Service bureaucrat Rohan Fitzgerald. Gerard McManus of the Herald Sun reports Labor internal polling has them on 36 per cent to the Nationals’ 32 per cent and the Liberals’ 19 per cent, which after preferences would mean a comfortable win for the Nationals.
On Monday, The West Australian published a Westpoll survey of 406 voters concerning federal voting intention in Western Australia, which had Labor leading 62-38 a 16 per cent turn-around from the federal election. A question on preferred Liberal leader had Peter Costello on 19 per cent, Malcolm Turnbull on 18 per cent, local hero Julie Bishop on 17 per cent, Brendan Nelson on 12 per cent and Joe Hockey on 11 per cent. The survey also gauged support on a republic, finding 51 per cent support against 33 per cent outright opposition, with 70 per cent supporting a referendum on the matter to coincide with the next election (leaving aside the small matter of the model being proposed).
Norm Kelly, member of the Australian National University’s Democratic Audit and former Western Australian Democrats state MP, peruses the government’s recently announced package of electoral reforms and finds fault with the move to tie public campaign funding to verified expenditure (clearly introduced to prevent a repeat of Pauline Hanson’s $200,000-plus windfalls from her recent Senate campaigns), which he says will disadvantage minor parties in its proposed form.
Radio National’s The National Interest program had an interesting item recently on campaign funding laws in New York City and Canada. The practice of the former makes it very hard to understand why donations for last year’s federal election won’t be disclosed until February next year (to the extent that they still need to be disclosed at all, following the Howard government’s disgraceful 2006 reforms).
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is inviting submissions for its inquiry into the 2007 federal election, which will be received until Friday, May 16.
I have just had to cough up $400 for annual site hosting, so now would be a good time for those who like to make the occasional donation.
UPDATE: Victorian Greens upper house MP Greg Barber drops by in comments to plug a parliamentary inquiry into the state’s donation disclosure laws. Reader ShowsOn tells us he has been Newspoll-ed, and that we can expect Tuesday’s poll to feature responses on who would make the best Liberal leader out of Brendan Nelson, Julie Bishop, Peter Costello and Malcolm Turnbull; who would make the best leadership team out of Nelson/Bishop, Costello/Turnbull and Turnbull/Andrew Robb; and who out of Turnbull and Wayne Swan would be best at handling the economy.