Only the two weekly pollsters have reported national results this week, which have done nothing to interfere with what appears to be a post-budget uptick for Labor. This results in a 0.3% two-party gain to add to the 0.5% shift last week, translating into a gain of two on the seat projection (one from New South Wales and one from Western Australia). The Queensland Galaxy poll has translated into a relative 0.5% shift away from Labor in that state, which was mostly cancelled out by the change in the national result. Full details on the sidebar.
The Queensland LNP has chosen party treasurer Barry O’Sullivan to fill the Senate vacancy created by Barnaby Joyce’s bid for Tony Windsor’s lower house seat of New England. Barry O’Sullivan was chosen ahead of 11 other candidates, including Larry Anthony, Howard government minister and former member for Richmond; tourism executive Mary Carroll; Western Downs mayor Ray Brown; and Toowoomba doctor and social conservative David van Gend. O’Sullivan made the news in 2011 when a recording emerged of him using forthright language in dealing with a disendorsed state election candidate.
NineMSN reports the long-delayed local preselection ballot for the Illawarra seat of Throsby, where Labor incumbent Stephen Jones faces a challenge from local Right faction operative John Rumble, will be held on June 15.
AAP reports Emma McBride, Wyong Hospital executive and daughter of former local state MP Grant McBride, has withdrawn from the Labor preselection to choose a successor to Craig Thomson in Dobell. The report says contenders could include Wyong Shire councillor Lisa Matthews and David Mehan, a local union official who challenged Thomson for preselection at the 2010 election.
New campaign finance legislation to be introduced by the government shortly is proving a source of contention on two fronts. A plan for parties to receive administrative funding set according to their share of the vote, at an overall cost of around $13 million a year, has met a predictably hostile response in the media and is unlikely to be going down well with the public (a similar measure was axed in Queensland last year as part of the Newman government’s savings drive). There has also reportedly been furious opposition in caucus, notably from Senator John Faulkner, to a watering down of long-delayed plans to revise the threshold for disclosure of political donations. This was hiked from $1500 to an indexed $10,000 (now over $12,000) by the Howard government in 2005. Legislation introduced by the Rudd government in 2008, and reaffirmed as part of the minority government agreements with independents and Greens after the 2010 election, sought to bring it back down to $1000. Now the government proposes the threshold be set at $5000, a total presumably reached in negotiation with the Liberals. A government source quoted by Tom Dusevic of The Australian says a $5000 threshold will capture 60% of donations, whereas a $1000 threshold would have captured 80%. Bernard Keane of Crikey the new bill will also leave open the loophole that allows undisclosed donations below the threshold to be made to each state and territory party branch, which was to have been dealt with under earlier versions of the bill.
Financial consultants Pottinger have produced a Bayesian model for predicting the election result which incorporates historical results and betting markets as well as polling over the current term. It projects a central 2PP outcome for the ALP of 47.2%, with a 95% confidence interval of about 43.8% to 50.2%, and gives the Coalition a 93.6% chance of winning the election against 1.9% for Labor, with a 4.5% chance of a hung parliament.