Parliament resumes on Monday, bringing with it an end to the silly season. We have had no Morgan this week, but there should be a Newspoll on Tuesday. Monday’s Essential Research poll had Labor’s two-party lead steady on 56-44; rated the relative importance of various issues; found a high level of support for Tony Abbott’s green jobs policy; and showed most respondents agreeing with the opposition after the emissions trading scheme issue was explained to them in a particular way. Other than that:
Antony Green and Possum offer common sense reflections on the state of the opinion polls at the moment. Possum in particular identifies the peculiarity of the 2007 federal result, which alone out of seven observations failed to deliver on a landslide which the polls had shown at long range. The question now facing us is whether the extraordinary factors of 2007 equally apply in 2010 whatever they might have been.
A day after Bob McMullan announced he would retire from his seat of Fraser at the next election, Annette Ellis announced she too would be vacating the other safe Labor ACT seat, Canberra. Ousted ACT party secretary Bill Redpath claims national secretary Karl Bitar’s refusal to allow an earlier preselection indicates they were pushed as much as jumped. Christian Kerr of The Australian reports Ellis in particular agreed to go after Left and Right failed to finesse a deal in which the former would take Fraser at the election, and the latter would take Canberra when it became available. Michael Cooney, former adviser to Mark Latham and Kim Beazley and current chief-of staff to ACT Education Minister Andrew Barr, was reportedly all but certain to take Canberra, while Fraser was likely to go to the party’s assistant national secretary Nick Martin. However, a new candidate for Canberra has emerged in Gai Brodtmann, runner of communications firm Brodtmann & Uhlmann Communications and wife of ABC report Chris Uhlmann.
Peter Lindsay has announced he will vacate his knife-edge marginal Townsville-based seat of Herbert, and readily admits the timing of the announcement was chosen for strategic reasons. The Townsville Bulletin reports candidates for Liberal preselection are thin on the ground, no doubt reflecting a lack of confidence in Coalition ranks. Townsville deputy mayor David Crisafulli and V8 Supercars event manager Kim Faithful were rated as obvious successors, but both have declined to enter the ring. The one candidate known to have confirmed interest is Colin Dwyer, an economist and unsuccessful candidate for Mundingburra at last year’s state election. The Bulletin also reviews the achievements of Lindsay’s final term: a fact-finding mission encompassing 13 different countries, resulting in a report that plagiarised Wikipedia and featured a Photoshopped image purporting to show Lindsay at a Beirut war cemetery. Labor’s preselection process has turned up 2007 candidate George Colbran, former mayor and long-established local identity Tony Mooney, and Townsville councillor Jenny Hill.
Soraiya Gharahkhani of the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser reports Paul Nunnari, wheelchair athlete and adviser to state Campbelltown MP Graham West will contest preselection for Macarthur, going up against presumed favourite Nick Bleasdale, the narrowly unsuccessful candidate from 2007.
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