Hard to say what to make of a poll conducted last weekend in the present fluid circumstances, but the latest Morgan face-to-face poll suggests the Oceanic Viking issue was washing out of the system even before the Liberal Party went into its present meltdown. Labor is up three points on the primary vote to 48 per cent while the Coalition is down one to 35.5 per cent. The Greens are steady on 9 per cent; most of the balance comes from Family First, which has corrected from 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent after an aberrant result last week. Labor’s lead on two-party preferred is up from 56.5-43.5 to 58.5-41.5. Elsewhere:
Antony Green’s blog has been a hive of activity recently. Of particular interest is his latest post, in which he departs his comfort zone to assert we can expect a by-election in Wentworth if the Liberal leadership saga plays out as presently expected. Also featured is an epic account of the bureaucratic nightmare involved in the enrolment of young voters, apropos the NSW government’s plans to introduce automatic enrolment.
Peter Kennedy of the ABC reports the resurgent WA Nationals have chosen John McCourt to head their Senate ticket. The party made a big fanfare of its Senate hopes at its state conference earlier this year, promising a campaign heavily funded by unpleasant Queensland mining billionaire Clive Palmer.
The Advertiser tells us it has seen internal party polling (we are not told which party’s) which shows the Liberals were building a head of steam even before the past week’s unpleasantness. The Liberal primary vote across selected marginal seats (again we are not told which ones, which makes the figures hard to read) is said to have been 39 per cent to Labor’s 31 per cent (the undecided were presumably not distributed), with the Liberals leading 52-48 on two-party preferred.
Jeff Whalley of the Geelong Advertiser reports Kurt Reiter, managing director of IT consultancy Digital Quay, has been preselected to run against Labor’s Lisa Neville in the state seat of Bellarine.
Nino Bucci of the Bendigo Advertiser reports Anita Donlon, founder of the Independent Musos Network (can’t say I’ve met too many Liberal-voting independent musos in my time), and Michael Langdon, former Australian Technical college principal, are jockeying for Liberal preselection in Bendigo West and Bendigo East respectively. An announcement will be made next week.
Western Australia’s Willagee state by-election, held to replace former Premier Alan Carpenter, will be held tomorrow. Notwithstanding that these are not the happiest of times for state Labor, their candidate Peter Tinley should have no trouble seeing off a Green, an ex-Green independent and the Christian Democratic Party. I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say the most interesting thing about the by-election has been the Poll Bludger comments thread. Those wishing to discuss the by-election are invited to do so there; live coverage will as always be available here from the close of polling booths tomorrow.