Today is the day of the federal by-election for the Queensland seat of Groom, which you can offer your thoughts on on this post in the apparently unlikely event that you have something specifically to say about it through the course of the day. This site will naturally be all over the count this evening, complete with a live results facility that is fully battle-tested so far as federal elections are concerned.
Other news of note:
• Roy Morgan had a result this week from the federal voting intention series it conducts regularly but publishes erratically. This one credited the Coalition with a slender two-party lead of 50.5-49.5, from primary votes of Coalition 42%, Labor 34%, Greens 12% and One Nation 4%. State breakdowns had the Coalition leading 53.5-46.5 in New South Wales, the reverse in Victoria, the Coalition leading 54.5-45.5 in Queensland, the Coalition leading 51-49 in Western Australia, and Labor leading 52.5-47.5 in South Australia. The poll was conducted online and by telephone over the two previous weekends from a sample of 2824.
• The Financial Review reports on JWS Research polling that shows 20% believe states should close borders to other states that have any active COVID-19 cases, “almost 60%” believe the same should happen if there are 25 active cases, and 75% say the same for 100 active cases. The report further relates that 60% of respondents rated the federal government’s handling of the virus positively, down six points from July, and that 87% of Western Australians, 82% of South Australians and 57% of Victorians (up seven since July) did likewise for their state goverments, with due caution for the small size of the relevant sub-samples. The poll was conducted from a sample of 1035 from last Friday to Sunday.
• John Ferguson of The Australian reports on Victorial Liberal Senate preselection contenders for the next election: Simon Frost, staffer to Josh Frydenberg and the party’s former state director (including at the time of its disastrous 2018 campaign); Roshena Campbell, a Melbourne lawyer; Greg Mirabella, Wangaratta farmer and husband of Sophie Mirabella; and Jess Wilson, policy director at the Business Council of Australia. This is likely to amount to a race for the second position on the ticket, with Sarah Henderson to be promoted to first and Scott Ryan not seeking another term. There is contention in the state branch over president Robert Clark’s reluctance to have preselections determined through party plebiscites, with critics accusing him of using COVID-19 to maintain control by the central administration, as it did before the last election. According to the report, “a statewide ballot would favour Mr Frost, while an administrative committee vote would favour those loyal to Mr Clark’s forces“.