The BludgerTrack poll aggregate this week records a strong move back to Labor, which partly reflects the Coalition’s soft Newspoll result this week. However, it’s also indicative of how sensitive the model is short-term fluctuations now that it’s using the start of the Turnbull era of year zero, and thus only has a small number of data points. The story on the primary vote is that the Greens have recovered some of the ground they lost over the previous weeks, with the Labor primary vote remaining steady. The difference all this makes to the seat projection is rather modest, with the Coalition dropping two seats in New South Wales and one in Queensland. The leadership ratings from Newspoll give a further boost to Malcolm Turnbull’s already strong net approval rating, but the other indicators are essentially unchanged. Preferred prime minister and Turnbull’s net approval are still being determined through weighted averages of all polling since the leadership change, rather than trend measures.
The meeting of the New South Wales Liberal Party’s state council on the weekend, chiefly noted for the heckling delivered to the Prime Minister, saw the demise of a proposal for all preselections to be conducted by plebiscites of party members, in place of the current system where the vote is divided between branch delegates and head office. This was despite just such a reform being advocated by a post-election review conducted by a panel headed by John Howard. However, a compromise resolution will see plebiscites conducted in one federal seat before next year’s election, two for the subsequent federal election due in 2019, and two for the next state election, also due in 2019.
Tom McIlroy of the Canberra Times identifies Christina Hobbs, a United Nations World Food Program program officer, as a possible starter for the Greens’ Senate preselection in the Australian Capital Territory. However, the report also cites a party source saying its resources were likely to be concentrated elsewhere, particularly on potentially difficult fights in Queensland, NSW and South Australia.