The Australian reports Labor’s lead in the latest fortnightly Newspoll is up from 56-44 to 58-42. Kevin Rudd’s preferred prime minister rating is up two points to 67 per cent, and Malcolm Turnbull’s is down two to 18 per cent. More to follow.
UPDATE: Graphic here. Rudd has exchanged five points of disapproval (down to 21 per cent) for five of approval (up to 68 per cent), while Turnbull’s disapproval exceeds his approval for the first time (42 per cent to 39 per cent). Also featured are questions on foreign ownership of Australian mineral companies (it’s bad).
The weekly Essential Research survey has Labor’s lead steady at 63-37. The other questions relate to Australia’s international relations, in particular Kevin Rudd’s handling thereof (67 per cent approve), the state of our relations with China and the United States, and the countries respondents feel are most like Australians in their attitudes and the way they see the world.
Perth’s ABC TV news yesterday reported that litigious Queensland mining billionaire Clive Palmer plans to bankroll a campaign by the WA Nationals to win a Senate seat at the next federal election something they haven’t succeeded in doing since 1975. No word on who the candidate might be. Former Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan didn’t have any luck in 2001, but he did have Graeme Campbell/One Nation to contend with on that occasion. Their subsequent efforts have been half-hearted.
The ABC reports the WA Nationals are insisting on a precisely fixed date for the state’s elections, contrary to Premier Colin Barnett’s policy of allowing flexibility in the timing of elections in February or March in case of natural disasters.
In yet more Western Australian news, Antony Green has a page up on the state’s May 16 daylight savings referendum. The Poll Bludger’s page on the concurrent Fremantle by-election is in business here.
The Victorian Parliament’s Electoral Matters Committee will conduct an inquiry into whether the Electoral Act should be amended to expand the scope of the provision prohibiting misleading electoral material. At present this refers expressly to material likely to mislead or deceive an elector in relation to the casting of the vote, and is thus narrowly concerned with matters such as how-to-vote cards that deceive voters into backing the wrong party. The Victorian Electoral Commission rejected a complaint from independent Kororoit by-election candidate Les Twentyman about a Labor pamphlet stating that a vote for Les Twentyman is a vote for the Liberals, but its report on the by-election suggested parliament consider addressing an undesirable trend for candidates to take advantage or build on community misunderstandings of preferential voting with confusing statements.
Ben Raue at the Tally Room has started an election wiki.