This week’s Morgan and Essential Research polls have prompted a solid move to the Coalition on the weekly reading of BludgerTrack, putting the government in its strongest position since last September on voting intention. Its standing is stronger still on the seat projection, as the movement since that time has favoured it more strongly in the more important states of New South Wales and Queensland than in the marginal seat dead-zone of Victoria potentially leaving into minority government territory, given that three of the seats credited to others are naturally conservative. The six-seat change on last week’s result includes two gains in New South Wales and Queensland, and one each in Victoria and Western Australia. The new leadership ratings from Essential Research cause Bill Shorten’s net approval rating to slip below Tony Abbott’s, though the trendlines for both remain sharply downwards, and Abbott hasn’t quite recovered the lead he lost last week on preferred prime minister.
The government is preparing to reintroduce to parliament next month a bill to extend to trade union officals standards of disclosure and financial behviour that apply to company directors, which was rejected by the Senate in March. With the requisite period of three months having elapsed since, a second rejection of the bill would establish a double dissolution trigger on terms that would suit the government’s agenda of associating Labor with union corruption. The only existing double dissolution trigger currently available to the government is its bill abolishing the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the it’s debatable as to whether that counts as it was blocked before the Senators elected in September 2013 took their seats in mid-2014.
Labor has preselected Leisa Neaton, principal of Frenchville State School, as its candidate for the central Queensland seat of Capricornia, which Michelle Landry won for the Liberal National Party in 2013 after the retirement of Labor member Kirsten Livermore. Austin King of the Morning Bulletin reports that Neaton prevailed with 85 votes ahead of 60 for Peter Freeleagus, a Moranbah miner and former Belyando Shire mayor who ran unsuccessfully in 2013, and 41 for Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow. Capricornia is featured in the Seat of the Week post directly below this one.
The Cairns Post reports Norm Jacobson, state secretary of Together Queensland’s prison officers branch, has been preselected as Labor’s candidate for Bob Katter’s seat of Kennedy.