The latest fortnightly Morgan face-to-face poll has Labor’s two-party lead at 57.5-42.5, up from 56.5-43.5 last time. Labor are up a point to 47 per cent on the primary vote, while the Coalition are down one to 37 per cent.
It’s all happening in New South Wales:
Bernard Keane of Crikey reports David Clarke is believed likely to survive tonight’s preselection challenge from David Elliott with moderate support. (UPDATE: Clarke wins 50-36) Some interesting background detail from Keane: The Campbell-Hawke assault on Clarke had its origins in a swift and cleverly executed turnover of delegates in Clarke’s preselection in late 2008 by Hawke, with most of the targets under the belief that Hawke was operating with Clarke’s imprimatur. Instead, Hawke removed or displaced nine preselectors and installed his own nominees, delivering an 18-vote turnaround that transformed Clarke’s preselection from comfortable to very challenging. Deborah Snow of the Sydney Morning Herald reports former Opposition Leader Peter Collins has come out swinging at Clarke in support of David Elliott, saying Clarke was paying the price for blocking Elliott in federal Mitchell and state Riverstone.
The quid pro quo for moderates supporting David Clarke is said to include the dropping of a preselection challenge against moderate incumbent Greg Pearce by Richard Quinn, and a smoothing of the way for Robyn Parker in the marginal seat of Maitland in lieu of her failure to retain her upper house position. Whoever gets the nod in Maitland will have things made easier by the announcement this week that Labor member Frank Terenzini will not seek another term.
Macarthur preselection victim Pat Farmer reckons the people of Camden are begging for him to represent them in state parliament. According to Matthew Ward of the Macarthur Chronicle, his main rivals for Liberal preselection would be Camden councillor Michael Cottrell and former Camden councillor Rob Elliott, with possible candidates including Camden mayor Chris Patterson or, if Patterson, won’t run, Citi Cycle Classic organiser Paul Hillbrick. Reports suggests it is Patterson’s for the taking if he wants it.