News Corp journalist Andrew Clennell reported on Sky News yesterday that an internal party poll — which party was not disclosed — suggested the Liberals are the front-runners for the Eden-Monaro by-election, now three weeks away. After exclusion of the 11% undecided, the primary votes as reported round to Liberal 43%, Labor 35%, Nationals 7%, Greens 7%, Shooters and Fishers 6% and One Nation 3%. Since One Nation aren’t actually running, the poll may not exactly be hot off the press. Clennell reported that the Liberals do not consider their position to be quite as rosy as the poll suggests. Beyond that, the only detail on the poll was that it was a robo-poll with a sample of 600.
There was less happy news for the Liberals from Wednesday’s ballot paper draw, at which their candidate Fiona Kotvojs drew the fourteenth and final position. Donkey vote effects tend to be over-hyped, and since Labor also drew a higher spot on the ballot paper last time, they should in theory be no more advantaged by voters numbering straight down the ticket than they were when they very nearly lost the seat at the election. However, Peter Brent has rustled together some numbers that suggest being last on the ticket is more harmful than being first is beneficial, the average impact on the primary vote over the past six federal elections being -2.0% and +0.7% respectively.