Today’s Morgan poll is a face-to-face survey of 842 voters, showing Labor’s two-party lead widening to 61-39 from 60.5-39.5 at the similar poll last week. This was conducted last weekend, and thus offers no guidance on the government’s honeymoon status in the post-FuelWatch leak era.
State and federal ministers met in Sydney today to discuss reform proposals being considered for a green paper to be issued in July, including bans on all corporate and union donations. The Coalition has confirmed that opposition is where it belongs by indicating it will oppose government legislation reducing the threshold for public disclosure of donations from $10,000 to $1000, after the previous government wantonly used its Senate majority to increase it from the existing $1500. A Coalition spokesman quoted by the Financial Review said the current government move was like asking the Collingwood Football Club to review the AFL’s salary cap perhaps I should offer some sort of prize to the commenter who can best make sense of this analogy. Senators John Faulkner (Labor) and Michael Ronaldson (Liberal) jousted over electoral reforms during yesterday’s lively Senate estimates hearings, but transcripts are not yet available.
A paper by Phillip Senior and Peter van Onselen on leadership effects in federal elections, published in the latest issue of the Australian Journal of Political Science, is freely available online (or at least, I thought it was now I can’t find the link). Using Australian Election Study data from 1990 to 2004, they find leader preference scored higher than issue variables in driving vote choice at every election except 1998, when the GST mattered more than opinion of Howard or Beazley. The GST also scored notably high in 1993, though not as high as opinion of Keating.
Unelected candidates for Franklin at the 2006 Tasmanian state election have been invited to nominate for the June 10 recount to replace Paul Lennon, who has retired from the parliament as well as the premiership. This will involve counting preferences from the 16,666 primary votes cast for Lennon, which will have gone overwhelmingly to unsuccessful Labor candidates Ross Butler and Daniel Hulme. Both the distribution of Lennon’s preferences and the primary votes (1066 for Butler, 620 for Hulme) suggest that Butler, taxi driver, retired school principal and former president of the Tasmanian Teachers Federation, will succeed in his bid for the seat. The Hobart Mercury reports that Hulme, a 28-year-old former Labor student who has worked in Mr Lennon’s Kingston electoral office for the past year, will also nominate.