‘Tis the season to be silly, but there is at least the following to relate:
• Roy Morgan published an SMS poll a fortnight ago that found 53% would vote yes in a referendum on an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice to parliament, with 30% for no and 17% for undecided. A yes majority was recorded in five of six states, the exception being Queensland with 44% for yes and 38% for no. The poll was conducted December 9 to 12 from a sample of 1499.
• The Age/Herald reported last Wednesday on a quarterly analysis of Resolve Strategic polling, though since the pollster provides breakdowns for the three largest states with each poll result, this was less illuminating than the similar exercise performed for Newspoll. However, it did provide results for Western Australia, showing Labor up a point from its strong performance at the election to 38% and the Coalition down a further five to 30%.
• Calare MP Andrew Gee has quit the Nationals to sit as an independent over the party leadership’s opposition to an indigenous voice to parliament. This reduces the Coalition to 57 seats in the House of Representatives and increases the cross bench from 16 to 17, with Labor still on 77.
• A by-election looms for the Northern Territory seat of Arafura, which covers the Tiwi Islands along with mainland territory around West Arnhem, following the death last month of Lawrence Costa, the Labor member since 2016. A defeat would not imperil Natasha Fyles’ government, with Labor holding 14 out of the Legislative Assembly’s 25 seats, not including Blain MP Mark Turner who was expelled from caucus in February 2021.
• The Narracan supplementary election will be held on January 28, finally bringing resolution to the Victorian state election. The election for the seat was not conducted on November 26 after Nationals candidate Shaun Gilchrist died in the period between the close of nominations and election day.
• The Victorian Election Commission has announced it will conduct full preference counts through to the final counts in February, having previously only conducted the counts to the point needed to determine the winning candidate.