Essential Research: 56-44

Labor’s two-party lead from Essential Research is up slightly following last week’s dive, from 55-45 to 56-44. Also featured are questions on the financial state of the companies respondents work for, future spending plans, confidence in the economy, “concern over job situation”, government regulation of the financial sector and whether an election will be justified if the “opposition refuses to pass” emissions tradding scheme legislation. Interestingly, the response to the latter question is 33 per cent yes and 37 per cent no, compared with 41 per cent and 29 per cent in April.

• The talk of the town this week is Section 44 (iii) of the Constitution, which provides that any person who is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a Senator or a member of the House of Representatives. Such designation could shortly apply to Bob Brown, who has been advised by Forestry Tasmania he faces bankruptcy proceedings if he does not come good on an order to pay $239,368 costs stemming from a failed bid to stop logging in Tasmania’s Wielangta forests. With offers of support flooding in from sources including Dick Smith, one suspects he’ll keep the wolf from the door. Ken Jeffreys of Forestry Tasmania describes Brown’s appeal as a “public holiday, slow-news-day media stunt”, while Bronwyn Bishop queries the Greens’ determination that the matter is Brown’s problem rather than theirs.

Andrew Landeryou at VexNews reports that Craig Langdon, the state Labor member for Ivanhoe, faces a preselection challenge from by Labor Unity colleague Anthony Carbines, Banyule councillor, chief-of-staff to Education Minister Bronwyn Pike and son of upper house MP Elaine Carbines. A text message from Langdon to local party members accuses Carbines of disregarding his offer to vacate the seat for him at the election after next. Landeryou blames the episoode on moves the prohibit political staffers from serving as councillors in the wake of the Ombudsman’s report into Brimbank Council, foreseeing further such action from “a tribe of angry, politically very well connected and shafted staffer-councillors who have been told to choose between their day jobs and their passion of politics and community service”.

• The ABC reports Scott Bacon, 32-year-old son of the late former Premier Jim Bacon, is seeking preselection in Denison for next year’s state election. Bacon is an economist and adviser to Energy and Resources Minister David Llewellyn.

• Poll Bludger regular Oz has started a blog devoted to New South Wales state politics, which is the kind of thing we should have more of. Do visit.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

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