Two new seat polls today, with due caution for the fact that seat polls tend not to perform very well:
• The Australian has a small-sample Newspoll from the Townsville-based seat of Herbert, which Labor won by the barest of margins in 2016 for the first time since the Hawke-Keating era. The reason this seat in particular has been targeted appears to relate to Clive Palmer’s expensive bid to re-establish his political career, to which Townsville is relevant given the failure of his nickel operation there. The poll has the 50-50 result from 2016 turning into a Labor lead of 51-49, which I’m guessing is based on respondent-allocated preferences, as the primary votes look a little more favourable for Labor than that. Labor’s Cathy O’Toole is on 32%, up from 30.5% in 2016; the Liberal National Party is on 32%, down from 35.5%; One Nation is on 9%, down from 13.5%; Katter’s Australian Party is on 9%, up from 6.9%; the Greens are on 7%, up from 6.3%; and Palmer’s United Australia Party is on 8%. The poll was conducted Thursday from a sample of 509.
• The other poll is a uComms/ReachTEL poll for the CFMMEU, which targets Greg Hunt’s Melbourne fringe seat of Flinders, which he holds on a post-redistribution margin of 7.1%. As related by the Herald Sun, the poll credits Labor with a lead of 51-49, with the Liberal primary vote at 36.8%, compared with 51.6% in 2016 – although this is probably complicated by an undecided element. Hunt’s primary vote is only 32.7% among women, compared with 41.2% among men. I hope to be able to obtain full results over the next few days. The poll finds 47.8% less likely to vote for Hunt due to his role in the move against Malcolm Turnbull, compared with 34.4% for no difference and just 17.8% for more likely. The poll was conducted Thursday from a sample of 627. The Herald Sun report also reveals that Julia Banks, the Liberal-turned-independent member for Chisholm, is considering running against Hunt.