In an off week in the fortnightly cycle of Newspoll and Essential Research, and no Ipsos poll overnight in Nine Newspapers, it looks like poll junkies will have to make do with New South Wales this week. We do have a poll of Senate voting intention from The Australia Institute, encompassing by Dynata from 2019 voters through February and March, which has Labor on 33%, the Coalition on 28%, the Greens on 12% and One Nation on 8%, from which a post-election outcome is projected of 30 to 32 seats for the Coalition, 28 to 29 seats for Labor, eight to nine seats for the Greens, four to five seats for the One Nation, two to three for the Centre Alliance, one for Australian Conservatives, and possibly one for Derryn Hinch, Jacqui Lambie or Tasmanian independent Craig Garland. The poll was the subject of a paywalled report in the Financial Review, and a full report featuring detailed breakdowns will shortly be available on The Australia Institute’s website.
Other than that, some recent preselection developments to relate:
• Last week’s Liberal preselection to choose a successor to Julie Bishop in Curtin was won by Celia Hammond, former University of Notre Dame vice-chancellor, who secured victory in the first round with 51 votes out of 82. The only other competitive contender was Anna Dartnell, an executive for resources company Aurizon, who received 28 votes. Erin Watson-Lynn, who was said to have been favoured by Bishop, received only one vote, after receiving substantial unhelpful publicity for past social media comments critical of the Liberal Party. It has been widely suggested that Hammond’s socially conservative views make her an ill fit for the electorate, which recorded a 72% yes vote in the same-sex marriage referendum – hoping to take advantage of the situation is Louise Stewart, who established a chain of health care clinics, and identifies as a moderate and “independent Liberal”.
• Andrew Potts of the Gold Coast Bulletin reports eight candidates have nominated for the preselection to succeed Steve Ciobo as the Liberal National Party candidate in Moncrieff, which is expected to be held in a few weeks. Gold Coast councillor Cameron Caldwell is reckoned to be the frontrunner, with other candidates including Karly Abbott, a staffer to Ciobo, and Fran Ward, a “local businesswoman”.
• Labor has preselected Cressida O’Hanlon, a family dispute resolution practitioner, as its candidate for the Adelaide seat of Sturt, which will be vacated with the retirement of Christopher Pyne. The Liberal preselection will be held on Saturday – the presumed front-runner, James Stevens, is backed by Pyne and other factional moderates, and faces opposition from two conservatives, Joanna Andrew and Deepa Mathew.
• The Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory has preselected Sam McMahon, a Katherine-based veterinarian, out of a field of 12 to succeed the retiring Nigel Scullion as its Senate candidate.