Peter van Onselen offers the following on internal polling in The Australian:
The Australian understands that Labor’s track polling shows its support is lifting in all states except Queensland, where the combinations of the toppling of Kevin Rudd (a local boy) and the deep unpopularity of the state government and Premier Anna Bligh are stifling support. The numbers suggest Labor could lose a host of seats in the Sunshine State. Attempts to arrest the decline include efforts by candidates to localise campaigns, along with sending Julia Gillard to Queensland for the early part of the campaign to break down the growing angst against her for tearing down an elected prime minister. Labor sources point out the irony is that during Rudd’s leadership, Queensland had been a problematic state where dissatisfaction with the job he was doing was high.
Perhaps surprisingly, the dip in support for Labor in Western Australia has been contained and a small upsurge has occurred. The same results have been seen in NSW on the strength of Labor’s changed border protection policy under Ms Gillard. The Coalition is facing financial constraints and is not doing anywhere near the amount of expensive track polling it did at the last election, or as much as Labor is doing now, according to one senior Liberal source. But the quantitative research the Coalition has done is said to have buoyed Tony Abbott and Brian Loughnane about their chances of a competitive result or even an upset victory. The Coalition is apparently tracking better in key marginal seats than published polls with wider samples such as Newspoll might suggest.
Around the grounds:
Labor and the Greens have confirmed a preference deal in which the latter will receive Senate preferences across the country, and the former will get lower house preferences in 44 of 50 marginal seats. The Sydney Morning Herald reports local Greens in six seats have refused to abide by the deal: Lindsay and Gilmore in NSW, Herbert, Blair and Dawson in Queensland, and Sturt in South Australia.
While Tony Abbott was having a rough ride in Melbourne, Julia Gillard spent the first weekday of the campaign targeting the Townsville seat of Herbert, where Liberal member Peter Lindsay is retiring and redistribution has nudged the seat from super-marginal Liberal to super-marginal Labor. Gillard spent the visit spruiking the Better Regional Cities policy which was unveiled the on Sunday, which will commit $200 million to affordable housing in regional cities.
The Australian’s Samantha Maiden and Dennis Shanahan have both written today of a slick and efficient early campaign performance from Labor’s media unit that is leaving the opposition in its wake. According to Maiden, media organisations are being carpet-bombed by an ALP campaign unit on steroids that is racing out media alerts, audio files of Coalition gaffes and interview transcripts via the social networking site Twitter. The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Liberal campaign headquarters will not be operational until today.
The ABC reports police have ruled out a firearm being responsible for damage to the home and campaign office of Brent Thomas, Labor’s candidate for Hughes, with a slingshot deemed more likely.