The BludgerTrack poll aggregate this week records a correction after what was probably an Ipsos-driven overshoot last week, with a milder result from Newspoll drawing the Coalition two-party lead back 0.7%, and moving the seat projection two points in favour of Labor, with gains in New South Wales and Victoria. However, Newspoll’s leadership ratings have added further distance between Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten on both net approval and preferred prime minister, although Shorten’s own net approval rating comes in slightly higher than last week’s.
• The ABC reports on friction within the Bill Shorten-Stephen Conroy axis of the Victorian Right over the preselection in the Melbourne seat of Wills, which is to be vacated at the next election with the retirement of Kelvin Thomson. Conroy is backing Mehmet Tillem, his former chief-of-staff and briefly a Senator, who now works for Victorian Small Business Minister Philip Dalidakis. However, Shorten is pushing for the seat to go to a woman, perhaps motivated by concern about the rising strength of the Greens. The Greens outpolled the Liberals to finish second at the 2013 election, but would need a 15.2% swing againt Labor to win the seat. A meeting of Labor’s administrative committee tonight will determine when the vote is to be held, with the ABC reporting that the Conroy forces favour an earlier-than-expected vote before Christmas. The ABC further reports that Moreland councillor and former mayor Meaghan Hopper is a confirmed starter, along with the previously reported Joshua Funder, a funds manager and former Yarra councillor.
• Eric Abetz and Stephen Parry retained first and second position on the Tasmanian Liberal Senate ticket in a preselection vote held on Saturday. The difficult but winnable third position goes to Jonathon Duniam, deputy chief-of-staff to Premier Will Hodgman. Blair Richards of The Mercury reports that Sally Chandler, who narrowly failed to win a seat from number three in 2013, declined to accept the unwinnable fourth position, amid complaints that the Tasmanian Liberals have not had a woman in federal parliament in 20 years.
• A leading Labor preselection candidate for the seat of Robertson, Anne Charlton, has revealed to preselectors that she was addicted to heroin and “in trouble with the law” at the age of 16. Charlton is now chief-of-staff to Deb O’Neill, who held Robertson from 2010 until her defeat in 2013, and has since found a place in the Senate. Labor’s preselection field will also include Belinda Neal, the seat’s controversial member from 2007 to 2010, when she was defeated for preselection by O’Neill.