The two-party preferred reading on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate has ticked 0.5% in Labor’s favour for the second week in the row, on the back of a solid improvement for them in the latest fortnightly Morgan result, and a smaller shift on the weekly Essential Research numbers. In fact, the outstanding feature of both polls was the best result in years for the Greens, such that both major parties are little changed on the primary vote, and Labor’s two-party preferred improvement is received second-hand as preferences. Labor is back in majority government territory on the seat projection, thanks to single-seat gains in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.
There is also a new set of leadership ratings courtesy of last week’s small-sample Morgan phone poll, which I now see I neglected to link to, but you can read all about here and here. The BludgerTrack tables show how the results have changed since last week, but since the poll was conducted last Monday to Wednesday, it might be better understood as a revised reading of the previous result than a current state of play. In particular, if the Labor national conference made any change to Bill Shorten’s position for better or worse, this poll will not have captured it. In any case, the result adds incrementally to the headlong plunges of both leaders on net approval, but doesn’t make much difference to preferred prime minister.
Cameron Atfield of Fairfax reports that a preselection challenge against Teresa Gambaro, the LNP member for the federal seat of Brisbane, has been called off after the intervention of Tony Abbott which would seem to be rather big of him, as Gambaro had been one of his most vocal critics. The putative challenger was Trevor Evans, chief executive of the National Retail Association and chief-of-staff and campaign director to Peter Dutton during 2010, who was said by an LNP source quoted by Atfield to have had the numbers. Not only has Evans been persuaded not to run, he will also serve as Gambaro’s campaign manager.
The winner of a Tasmanian Greens vote to choose a Senate successor to Christine Milne will be announced today, and the Launceston Examiner for one deems that the party’s former state leader, Nick McKim, is heavily favoured to emerge the winner from a field of about ten. Milne has not yet set a date for her departure, but in the final week of the last parliamentary sitting she gave what she said was to be her final Senate speech, so presumably it will be soon. The Greens preselection process has been covered in very great detail by local observer Kevin Bonham.
Two dubious claims of internal polling to relate, if only because I didn’t want the above items to look lonely. Speaking on Sky News earlier this month, Victorian Liberal Party state president Michael Kroger claimed that current polling had support for Jacqui Lambie in Tasmania in the low twenties. The CFMEU also claims polling it has conducted finds a Nick Xenophon-backed candidate in Christopher Pyne’s Adelaide seat of Sturt would poll 38% of the primary vote, compared with 30.8% for Pyne and 17.4% for Labor.