Morgan’s latest polling release covers 955 respondents from last weekend’s face-to-face surveys, and shows Labor’s two-party lead down from 61.5-38.5 to 60.5-39.5. Labor’s primary vote is down a point to 50.5 per cent, and the Coalition’s is up 1.5 per cent to 34.5 per cent. On top of which:
Silly Steve Fielding joined with the Coalition on Wednesday to vote down government electoral reforms that would tie public funding for election candidates to their electoral expenditure, lower the threshold for disclosure of donations to $1000 from $10,000 (which the Howard government used its Senate majority to jack it up to), ban foreign donations and anonymous donations of over $50, and require parties to disclose donations every six months rather than annually. The sticking point is Fielding’s insistence that the government also arbitrarily cap public funding to political parties at $10 million. The bill was reintroduced to the House yesterday.
Submissions have been published in response to the federal government’s green paper on donations, funding and expenditure.
Responding to mounting speculation she will take on Don Randall in Canning at the next federal election, senior Gallop/Carpenter government minister Alannah MacTiernan tells The West Australian: It’s something that I’d consider but it’s far too early. The election is a long way away and it’s not something a decision can be made on until early next year.
The South Australian Liberals have picked a new candidate for the state seat of Mawson to replace former Kingston MHR Kym Richardson, who was charged in December with attempting to pervert the course of justice by impersonating a police officer. Matthew Donovan, described by the local Southern Times Messenger newspaper as a self-employed importer and property developer, won preselection ahead of Heidi Harris, adviser to Shadow Transport Minister Duncan McFetridge and unsuccessful candidate for federal preselection in Mayo; Heidi Greaves, public servant, former Onkaparinga councillor and unsuccessful candidate for Elder; and Alana Sparrow, Housing Industry Association lawyer and former media adviser to Richardson.
The Daily Telegraph reports that NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell will hire a team of constitutional lawyers to explore recall provisions to end fixed four-year terms for incompetent governments. This would involve provisions for the Governor to sack a corrupt or useless government if called on to do so by public petitions, presumably in a fashion similar to that which brought Arnold Schwarzenegger to power in California. UPDATE: More from a skeptical Imre Salusinszky at The Australian.
Chris Back this week took his place in the Senate, filling the vacancy created by the departure of Western Australian Liberal Chris Ellison.