Apart from a few Indigenous Voice snippets, which I’m holding back for a dedicated post, the only polling action this week has been the regular Roy Morgan result, which has Labor leading 54-46, unchanged on last week, from primary votes of Labor 32.5% (up half), Coalition 35% (up half) and Greens 14% (down one-and-a-half). On the preselection front, there is the following to relate:
• Victorian Greens Senator Janet Rice has announced she will retire from parliament in the first half of next year. James Massola of The Age reports her successor will be chosen by a vote of 2000 to 3000 party members in November. The front-runner is Steph Hodgins-May, who has run three times for the party in Macnamara (known as Melbourne Ports up to 2016) and came within an ace of winning the seat in 2022. Other potential nominees are Monash councillor Josh Fergeus, academic and unionist Apsara Sabaratnam and lawyer Sarah Jefford.
• With Warren Mundine’s withdrawal last week from the preselection race to fill Marise Payne’s New South Wales Liberal Senate vacancy, the position is now thought likely to go to Andrew Constance, former state government minister and unsuccessful candidate for Gilmore at last year’s federal election. However, the Sydney Morning Herald reports he may face competition from one of a number of factional conservatives: “Mina Zaki, an Afghanistan-born, anti-Taliban activist and cyber expert at consulting firm KPMG; barrister Ishita Sethi; lawyer Pallavi Sinha; Monica Tudehope, who has previously worked as Dominic Perrottet’s policy director; and former NSW Liberal MP Lou Amato”. Mundine has opted to remain in the business sector, but the Sydney Morning Herald further noted he had “caused angst” among hitherto supportive conservatives by defying the no campaign line on the desirability of a treaty or a changed date for Australia Day. The Sydney Morning Herald earlier reported the preselection was not likely to be determined until November.
• Josh Frydenberg announced last week he will not seek to win Kooyong back from teal independent Monique Ryan at the next election. Rachel Baxendale of The Australian says this has left Liberals questioning who might take over as leader if circumstances demand it after the next election, with Andrew Hastie “described by several as the party’s best hope, despite his relative inexperience”. Amelia Hamer, director of strategy at tech start-up Airwallex, has been mentioned as a likely contender for the Liberal preselection in Frydenberg’s absence, while a report in The Age put forward a number of familiar names as potential starters: “Lucas Moon, an anti-pokies campaigner at Hawthorn RSL, Melbourne councillor Roshena Campbell, former candidate Georgina Downer, Caroline Elliot, or past Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chair Karyn Sobels”.
• Alexi Diemetriadi of The Australian reports Hunters Hill mayor Zac Miles has resigned from the Liberal state executive ahead of a run for Liberal preselection in Bennelong, and that Shoalhaven councillor and former deputy mayor Paul Ell is “understood” to be considering running in Gilmore, where he stood aside in favour of Andrew Constance before the last election.
• The Australian’s Feeding the Chooks round-up of Queensland politics relates that long-serving Labor members Graham Perrett and Shayne Neumann are under pressure to make way for female candidates in their seats of Moreton and Blair, with former state secretary Julie-Ann Campbell favoured by the Left in Moreton and state Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard “weighing up her options for a tilt at Blair”.
• Poll Bludger contributor Adrian Beaumont has a new post at The Conversation on developments in the campaign for the October 14 election in New Zealand.