Three items of electoral relevance to emerge amidst the New Year news and polling drought:
• Paul Sakkal of The Age reports Stephanie Hunt, corporate lawyer and former legal adviser to Julie Bishop and Marise Payne, will seek Liberal preselection for Goldstein, which Tim Wilson hopes to recover after losing to independent Zoe Daniel in 2022. Wilson remains the front-runner, in the estimation of a further report in The Age today.
• Lydia Lynch of The Australian reports Margie Nightingale, former teacher and policy adviser to Treasurer Cameron Dick, is the front-runner to succeed Annastacia Palaszczuk in her seat of Inala, the by-election for which is “tipped to be held in March”. Palaszczuk’s former deputy chief-of-staff, Jon Persley, had long been mentioned as her likely successor, but he has withdrawn from contention, saying the party’s gender quota rules played a “big factor” in the decision.
• Sue Bailey of the Sunday Tasmanian reports that veteran former Liberal Senator and conservative stalwart Eric Abetz will seek state preselection in the division of Franklin for an election due in June next year, assuming Jeremy Rockliff’s government is able to keep the show on the road that long.