In the continuing absence of new polling, enjoy the following news snippets:
• Amid lingering rumours of a late February state election in Queensland, Lawrence Springborg has floated the possibility of Mal Brough entering state politics by contesting a Labor-held seat. Such would be the only option available to him given the Liberal National Party merger arrangement which guaranteed all sitting members uncontested preselections. Party sources quoted by Mark Bahnisch in Crikey “rule out any possibility that the Borg has seriously approached Brough. It would appear instead that the LNP’s polling suggests continued weakness and scepticism among urban and outer suburban Liberal voters – whose support the opposition desperately needs to be within even a mile of toppling Bligh.”
• The new Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, began his five-year term on Monday. Killesteyn has almost swapped roles with his predecessor Ian Campbell, who is now secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs – of which Killesteyn was previously a deputy secretary.
• UMR Research has published one of its occasional surveys on attitudes to republicanism, which shows both support and opposition losing ground to “don’t know” over the past six months. Other findings are that “men and younger Australians (are) more in favour of a republic”, and that support for an elected president remains overwhelming.
• Only one week to go until South Australia’s Frome by-election, which you can read about and comment on here. Despite a preference swap between independent Port Pirie mayor Geoff Brock and Nationals candidate Neville Watson, there seems little reason not to think Terry Boylan will easily retain the seat for the Liberals.
NOTE: No further discussion on the situation in the Middle East, please. There are plenty of more appropriate places for it elsewhere.