Today’s Daily Telegraph has a YouGov poll showing 46% support for a yes vote in a referendum on an indigenous voice compared with 30% for no, with 24% undecided. Support was at 61% among Labor voters, 31% among Coalition voters and 72% among the small sample of Greens voters. Sixty-eight per cent rated that the government had done a poor job of explaining how the voice would work, with no detail provided on other responses. The poll was conducted online “last week” from a sample of 1069. UPDATE: The poll was limited to New South Wales.
Other than that, the only bit of recent polling I’m aware of is the return of Roy Morgan’s weekly update video and its regular serving of thin gruel on federal voting intention. This records Labor’s two-party lead at 59.5-40.5, out from 58.5-41.5 before the summer break, and a notably wide gap from a series that had found Labor with relatively modest leads for much of last year.
• Following the death on Tuesday of New South Wales Liberal Senator Jim Molan, reports suggest the front-runner to succeed him is fellow conservative Dallas McInerney, chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW. However, Max Maddison of The Australian reports some moderates believe the faction should try to poach the seat for one of their own, the chief contenders being defeated Wentworth MP Dave Sharma, unsuccessful Gilmore candidate Andrew Constance and thwarted Warringah preselection hopeful Jane Buncle. Tony Abbott has ruled out a suggestion by former Victorian state party president Michael Kroger that the position should go to him, although Dennis Shanahan of The Australian today reports that would be open to a lower house seat if it had “overwhelming support” in the party.
• Matthew Knott of the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Thursday that moderates were urging Marise Payne to create a second New South Wales Senate vacancy by retiring shortly after the March state election, potentially to be succeeded by Fiona Martin, who lost her seat of Reid at the federal election last year; Gisele Kapterian, former staffer to Julie Bishop and Michaelia Cash; or Maria Kovacic, state party president and unsuccessful federal candidate for Parramatta. Dennis Shanahan of The Australian reported today that Payne has “told colleagues she does not intend to retire”.
• Lydia Lynch of The Australian reported yesterday on a “push within Queensland’s Liberal National Party to bring former Senator Amanda Stoker back into the fold”, with the suggestion that she might topple lower-profile incumbent Paul Scarr to gain the top position on the Senate ticket at the next election. With the second place on the ticket reserved for the Nationals, and no suggestion in the report that a position might become available in the lower house, the only other possibility would be for her to again take third place. This was a losing proposition for her at last year’s election and would also require her to depose an incumbent, in this case ideological fringe dweller Gerard Rennick.