Long overdue for a new post, so let the record note that Roy Morgan published results of a phone poll on Friday which had Labor’s lead at 53.5-46.5, compared with 54.5-45.5 at the previous such poll a month ago. It should be noted that Morgan’s headline polls are their face-to-face efforts, which are published weekly or fortnightly depending on the company’s whim, and these tend to show Labor with a bigger lead. The phone polls are from small samples of about 550, with a margin of error of over 4 per cent. Newspoll should report tomorrow evening, unless The Australian decides to get in early, and Essential Research should as always report tomorrow afternoon.
UPDATE (15/2/10): The Courier-Mail has delivered figures on Queensland federal voting in addition to yesterday’s state survey. They too show a lurch to the Coalition, from 46-54 behind in November to 51-49 ahead. This would represent a swing to the Coalition of 1.4 per cent from the 2007 election. However, the federal and state results taken together raise suspicions that this was a good sample for the Coalition.
UPDATE 2 (15/2/10): A Westpoll survey of 407 respondents in Western Australia shows the federal Coalition with a two-party lead of 51-49 in that state, which would amount to a 2.3 per cent swing to Labor compared with the 2007 election result. The previous such survey in December, conducted immediately after the leadership change, had Labor leading 53-47. The margin of error on these surveys is approaching 5 per cent.
UPDATE 3 (15/2/10): The Essential Research survey has Labor’s lead steady at 55-45. It also offers us the unusual spectacle of approval ratings of the parties’ finance spokesman: Lindsay Tanner is plus 7, Barnaby Joyce is minus 11, and both have high don’t know ratings. Further questions find Kevin Rudd’s lead over Julia Gillard as preferred prime minister lower than it was, strong approval for a federal health takeover, and disapproval for a population of 36 million by 2050.
Much afoot in the world of Labor preselection:
The Sydney Morning Herald reports Dobell MP Craig Thomson, who has hit heavy weather over allegations of credit card abuse and failure to disclose donations from his days as a Health Services Union official, will be challenged for Labor preselection by David Mehan, who contested the seat unsuccessfully in 2004. However, factional number crunchers quoted in the report do not expect him to be troubled.
Roderick Shaw of the Penrith City Star reports Liberal Senator Marise Payne is said to be hopeful of standing in Lindsay at the next election. The seat’s Labor member, David Bradbury, has denied a rumour aired in Crikey that he wants Roger Price to make way for him in neighbouring Chifley.
Fairfax reports Jason Young, Labor’s narrowly unsuccessful candidate for Bowman in 2007, has withdrawn from contention to stand again this year. The report quotes Young denying his withdrawal was releated to an imminent court appearance for driving with a suspended licence and in an unregistered vehicle. The front-runner appears to be Phil Weightman, who lost his state seat of Cleveland at the March 2009 election, and like Young is a member of the Left.
Soraiya Gharahkhani of the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser reports Camden deputy mayor Greg Warren has withdrawn from the Labor preselection race in Macarthur, which leaves Nick Bleasdale and Paul Nunnari.
Roma Dickins of the Camden Advertiser reports on Pat Farmer’s hopes to keep his political career alive in the state seat of Camden, where he faces stiff opposition from local mayor Chris Patterson. Farmer has lost preselection for his federal seat of Macarthur.
Stephen Mayne and Graeme Orr discuss party donation disclosures on Radio National’s The National Interest.