Miscellaneous horse race commentary and developments from the past two days of the campaign, much of it involving the Victorian Electoral Commission:
• The Herald Sun reports Liberal sources saying Daniel Andrews’ personal ratings have “tanked” over the past fortnight, with his disapproval rating at 51%. Forty-four per cent wanted a Labor win, but 38% of Labor voters said they would favour a minority government. It should be noted that any Liberal polling would be limited to its target seats. The report also says the Greens rate themselves “a strong chance to win Northcote and Pascoe Vale”, the latter of which would be a turn-up. Conversely, Labor has “become more optimistic about its chances in Melton”, which it fears losing to independent Ian Birchall.
• John Ferguson of The Australian says views within the Labor camp about the number of seats it stands to lose range from “as little as seven or eight” to “as many as nineteen”, with anything more than ten being sufficient to cost the government its majority. A “senior ALP figure” said it was “hard to see the Liberal Party winning more than nine or ten seats” and “they could also lose a few”.
• The Liberal Party has accused the Victorian Electoral Commission of “serious, deliberate and unprecedented” interference in the election after its referral of potential breaches of donation laws to the Independent Broad-based Commission Against Corruption. The issue relates to alleged attempts by Matthew Guy’s chief-of-staff, Mitch Catlin, to encourage a businessman to make donations to his private business, which prompted Catlin’s resignation in August. The VEC says it has not received satisfactory responses to its invitations to the principals to respond to questions, although Guy told journalists on Thursday he had not had “any direct contact” with the commission. Electoral commissioner Warwick Gately presumably had this statement in mind when he said yesterday that the VEC had “not received the full co-operation from those connected to its investigation … despite public statements to the contrary”.
• The Liberals have referred Labor and preference negotiator Glenn Druery to IBAC over the video published in the Herald Sun on Thursday in which Druery discussed preference deals during a video conference, with MPs David Southwick and Louise Staley accusing Labor of “vote-rigging” over its rather tenuous connections to Druery’s activities. Paul Sakkal of The Age reports that Michael Piastrino, who is running for the Liberals against Daniel Andrews in Mulgrave, conducted a press conference yesterday alongside member of the anti-lockdown Freedom Party in which he called for the election to be “postponed and for the state government to go into administration … given the election can no longer be deemed valid”.
• Teal independents have succeeded in having the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal overturn the Victorian Electoral Commission’s determination that voters were likely to be misled by how-to-vote cards showing only one box numbered, with accompanying wording advising voters to number the remaining boxes in order of preference. If voters had indeed been misled, the effect would have been the opposite of what was plainly intended.
• A Lonergan Research poll for the Victorian National Parks Association, concerned mostly with public attitudes to national parks and conservation reserves, has breakdowns of voting intention by upper house region if you stick with it until the end, although the field work period was October 28 to November 6.