Essential Research’s fortnightly poll is due this week, although that will be less interesting than it was if it’s decided to stop publishing voting intention numbers, as was the case with last fortnight’s poll. RedBridge Group has also been in the field, with results potentially to be published this week. Other than that:
• Nine Newspapers reports Gavin Pearce, Liberal member for Braddon in north-western Tasmania, is withholding his preselection nomination until his electoral neighbour, Bass MP Bridget Archer, is expelled from the party. Archer crossed the floor last week to vote against Peter Dutton’s motion for a royal commission into child sex abuse in Indigenous communities, which the hitherto indulgent Dutton described as a “mistake”. The report says four other conservative MPs are backing Pearce’s course, with one saying there was “a chance party officials would side with him”, while acknowledging this would likely mean Archer retaining her seat as an independent.
• Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph reports that Scott Yung, who came within 69 votes of defeating Chris Minns in Kogarah amid a backlash against state Labor among the Chinese community at the 2019 state election (UPDATE: It is noted in comments that Yung merely came within 69 votes of Minns on the primary vote, and that the final two-party margin was actually 1.8%)), is set to become the Liberal candidate for Bennelong after the withdrawal of rival nominee Craig Chung. Silmalis reports Yung had the backing of Peter Dutton, whereas Chung was favoured by moderates. Jerome Laxale gained the seat for Labor in 2022, the party’s second ever win in the seat after Maxine McKew’s famous victory over John Howard in 2007.
• Next door in North Sydney, which Trent Zimmerman lost to teal independent Kylea Tink at last year’s election, the Sydney Morning Herald’s CBD column reports that Sophie Lambert, media manager at the NSW Education Department, has nominated for Liberal preselection. Lambert’s preselection brochure says the seat was “stolen at the last election by a concerning new wave of politics”, and shows her pictured alongside conservative favourite Katherine Deves. The matter could be complicated by the current redistribution process, in which the seat could be radically redrawn or potentially abolished.
• Further to the above, responses to the call for public suggestions for the redistribution of New South Wales seats will be published on the Australian Electoral Commission site today, presumably to include the wish lists of the major parties and other interested actors.