More confirmation Labor’s position has worsened from the 54-46 plateau it settled upon after the carbon tax was introduced, this time from Essential Research. Bernard Keane of Crikey reports the poll has the Coalition’s lead increasing from 54-46 to 55-45, with Labor’s primary vote down two points to 32 per cent, the Coalition up one to 47 per cent and the Greens steady on 12 per cent. Other results:
Asked which option from the major parties they prefer on transferring asylum seekers, only 16% of voters preferred Malaysia, compared to 34% for Nauru; 30% said they didn’t like either. Even Greens voters preferred Nauru (12%) over Malaysia (9%) — possibly because Nauru was a guarantee of asylum seekers eventually being moved back to Australia — and 34% of Labor voters didn’t like either solution, compared to 29% for Malaysia.
There was better news for Labor on live exports, with strong support for its suspension of exports to Indonesia — 58-28% — with even Liberal voters overcoming their distaste for all things this government does to prefer it. But there’s even stronger support for compensation for the cattle industry — 61-21% — despite revelations the industry has long known of problems with the treatment of Australian cattle.
The live cattle export industry itself also retains public support, with only 22% favouring a full ban on live exports and 58% wanting the trade restricted to countries that treat cattle humanely. Support for live exporting of cattle no matter how they were treated was strongest among Liberal voters, at 19%.
There were also questions on the impact of the mining boom. The full report should be with you shortly. UPDATE: Here it is.
Other news/speculative rumour-peddling:
Next month’s NSW Labor state conference will vote on a proposal to include open primaries as part of its preselection procedures for five mayoralty elections, including for the lord mayoralties of Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong, with a view to repeating the process for five state seats before the 2015 election (one of which will be Newcastle, which the Liberals won for the first time in March). The plan is more radical than that put forward in the federal election review conducted by Steve Bracks, Bob Carr and John Faulkner, proposing that primaries account for 50 per cent rather than 20 per cent of the total vote (except where there is a sitting Labor member), with the remainder to be determined in the usual fashion by party members and unions. The idea has been endorsed by the Prime Minister and state secretary Sam Dastyari and has the backing of the Right faction. However, it is opposed by the Left which sees the trial measure as a sop to quell discontent over rejection of proposals to allow rank-and-file members greater say in filling party administrative positions and delegates to national and state conferences.
Meanwhile, Melissa Fyfe of The Age reports Victorian Labor’s review of last year’s state election is likely to give the thumbs-down to the idea of primaries, citing an underwhelming response to a trial run for the Liberal-held seat of Kilsyth before the election.
Also talking about primaries is Peter Reith, who made a similar recommendation that of Bracks/Carr/Faulkner in the federal election review he conducted for the Liberal Party, and who will shortly challenge Alan Stockdale for the party’s national presidency.
Morris Iemma has denied he is seeking federal preselection, following weekend reports he was sizing up Attorney-General Robert McClelland’s seat of Barton or Daryl Melham’s seat of Banks. Imre Salusinszky of The Australian quotes Iemma saying: If I was ever interested, I wouldn’t do it by backstabbing two friends of mine.
In other speculative Premier comeback news, The Australian reports a Queensland caucus source says Peter Beattie is known to have been sniffing around for a seat in federal parliament, and had spoken to people about Brisbane and Griffith.