This weekend brings us to the half-way point of a six-week campaign. The Australian Electoral Commission is receiving its first returned postal votes of them (738 of them as of Thursday evening, according to its figures), but there is still another week to go before pre-poll booths open, thanks to the reduction of the early voting period from three weeks to two.
• One Nation will in fact direct preferences to the LNP ahead of Labor in every seat in Queensland, contrary to reports yesterday that it would not do so in Longman. The Courier-Mail reports it is “understood” that Nationals Senator Matt Canavan brokered the deal, in which Pauline Hanson has been placed second on the LNP ticket.
• Matthew Killoran of the Courier-Mail reports that internal polling from Queensland shows Longman, Leichhardt and Brisbane to be “real contests”, with “the off-chance of a shock result in what should be the safe LNP seat of Ryan”.
• The latest monthly Ipsos Issues Monitor survey on issue salience finds cost of living has risen from fourth place to first since the start of the year, with 50% of respondents picking at as one of the top three issues out of nineteen on offer. Health care has edged down over the same period from 48% to 39%, the economy has fallen from 36% to 32%, and housing has gone from 33% to 32%.
• On the day One Nation posted a satirical video about voter fraud that wasn’t funny because it wasn’t true (the \Age/Herald reports it has been pulled from TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, but not YouTube), one of its candidates has been referred to Australian Federal Police because he had been nominated to run in two different seats for two different parties, which would have involved making a false declaration. Malcolm Heffernan says One Nation submitted his application for the Sydney seat of Banks after telling him his “services were no longer required”, by which time he had nominated instead for the Australian Federation Party in the Perth seat of Brand.
• Other candidates facing difficulties of one sort or another are Jo Dyer, independent candidate from Boothby and friend of Christian Porter’s rape accuser, who seems likely fall foul of Section 44 in the seemingly unlikely event that she’s elected; Robbie Beaton, Liberal candidate for the Melbourne seat of Isaacs, who has admitted he lives in Camberwell and not at the address of a hotel he used to own in Mordialloc, as per his enrolment; and Ingram Spencer, United Australia Party candidate for Higgins, who has been arrested on charges using a carriage service to menace or harass.