WA state round-up: RedBridge poll and preselections A-Z

A new poll showing Labor continuing to dominate state politics in WA, plus a vast accumulation of preselection intelligence to have emerged from recent media reportage.

RedBridge Group has a rare item of state polling from Western Australia (though not as rare as in South Australia, whose affairs of the past year or so will be covered here soon), and so radically does it differ from the last state poll that it’s hard to say where things stand. This one has Labor with a two-party lead of 59.4-40.6, and while this amounts to a 10% swing from the black swan event of 2021, it is by normal standards a remarkably strong result for a government that has been led since June by Roger Cook. The primary votes are Labor 44%, Liberal 29%, Nationals 4%, Greens 11% and One Nation 3%, which compares with election results of Labor 59.9%, Liberal 21.3%, Nationals 4.0%, Greens 6.9% and One Nation 1.3%. As noted in the post below, the poll also contains federal voting intention numbers that find Labor replicating its 55-45 advantage from the 2022 election. No field work dates at this stage, but the sample was 1200.

The release of the poll is timely from the perspective of this site, as I was about ready to unload a compendium of news relevant to the March 2025 state election. Preselection news exists in particularly abundant degree for the Liberals, who have set nomination deadlines across January and February for their numerous targets of opportunity. Except where otherwise indicated, the information below is derived from two overviews last month from Josh Zimmerman of The West Australian, one concerning the Liberals and the other Labor. Margins identified below are based on my own determinations from the recently finalised redistribution.

Starting with the Liberals:

Continue reading “WA state round-up: RedBridge poll and preselections A-Z”

Western Australian state redistribution finalised

Analysis of the boundaries that will apply at the next Western Australian state election in March 2025.

The Western Australian state redistribution has been finalised, leaving undisturbed the basic scheme from the draft proposal in which the regional seats of Moore and North West Central are merged into Mid-West and a new seat of Oakford is created on Perth’s south-eastern fringe. A geospatial file has not yet been provided, so the analysis below is based on eyeballing the published maps and reports, leaving open the possibility I may have missed a few things.

The main change from the draft is that the commissioners have thought better of their plan to turn the coastal northern suburbs seats of Carine and Hillarys into elongated north-south electorates of Hillarys and Padbury, the former covering the coast and the latter the area further inland. I calculated that the proposed Padbury had a Labor margin of 12.9% while the revised Hillarys had 9.6%, whereas now I get 18.9% for Hillarys (19.0% at the election) and 4.0% for Carine (2.5%).

The West Australian recently reported that Caitlin Collins, Labor’s member for Hillarys, was being tipped for Padbury – presumably she will now be more than happy to stay put. It was also reported in The West that Padbury was of interest to Liam Staltari, who was “viewed as a rising star within the Liberal Party” and had recently moved to Duncraig – now at the heart of the highly tempting prospect of Carine.

Two Liberals were said to be eyeing Hillarys as proposed by the draft boundaries: Tony Krsticevic, who held Carine before 2021 and will surely now wish to do so again, and Scott Edwardes, son of party powerbrokers Colin and Cheryl Edwardes and candidate in 2021 for Kingsley, the seat formerly held by his mother. Krsticevic has been linked with the “Clan” faction, while Edwardes is part of a northern suburbs bloc that includes his parents and upper house aspirant Simon Ehrenfeld.

Other changes from the draft include the reversal of alterations to Balcatta, a marginal seat in normal circumstances, that would have reduced the margin from 25.8% to 24.5%. Balcatta was to gain part of Gwelup from Scarborough and lose part of Westminster to Morley. To balance this revision, Scarborough no longer stands to gain a part of Scarborough and Doubleview from Churchlands – I now have the Labor margin there at 9.3%, hardly changed from 9.4% in the draft, but down from the actual Labor margin of 10.4%. Churchlands will in turn no longer gain part of City Beach from Cottesloe, boosting the Labor margin to 1.6% from 0.8% at the election and 0.1% in the draft. Cottesloe, one of two seats won by the Liberals, will in turn not gain part of Floreat from Nedlands, and thus emerge unchanged.

Further afield, Albany will gain all of the Shire of Plantagenet, which is currently in Warren-Blackwood but stood to be divided between Albany and Roe. Warren-Blackwood will surely return to the conservative fold at the next election come what may, but a further addition of rural territory to Albany is unhelpful for Labor in a seat they have held against the odds since 2001. Labor won the seat by 13.7% at the election, which I had coming down to 11.3% on the draft boundaries, and now to 10.8%.

Similarly, Geraldton will now gain Kalbarri and the rest of the northern end of the Shire of Northampton, which the draft had in Mid-West. Labor won the seat by 11.7% at the election, which I had down to 10.0% on the draft boundaries and 9.2% on the final ones. The Shire of Victoria Plains will be entirely within Central Wheatbelt and not split between it and Mid-West as proposed in the draft, which is unlikely to factor into anyone’s calculations. Last and probably least, the commissioners have thought better of renaming Swan Hills as Walyunga.

My two-party preferred estimates of the final boundaries are as follows:

UPDATE: My full final accounting of the new party votes shares and margins can be found here. I land within 0.3% of Antony Green’s two-party preferred estimates in 53 of 59 seats, the biggest imbalance being Kalgoorlie with 0.8%. Ben Raue has two-party and primary vote estimates at The Tally Room.

Weekend miscellany: Liberal preselection argybargy and by-election results (open thread)

Liberal preselection turbulence across four states, and a look at the final results from Fadden and Rockingham.

It’s been three weeks since Newspoll, which more often than not means another one should be along tonight. On that note, academic Murray Goot writes in Inside Story that there has been an “unreported upheaval” at YouGov’s Australian operation, which conducts the poll, in which “virtually all of those working in the public affairs and polling unit” have left – including Campbell White, who had been its head since it took over Newspoll in the wake of the 2019 election.

Until then, here’s the usual weekly assembly of federally relevant preselection news:

Paul Karp of The Guardian reports factional conservatives consider their preselection challengers “likely” to defeat Melissa McIntosh in Lindsay and a “good chance” against Sussan Ley in Farrer. Alex Hawke “may require support from moderate Liberals” in Mitchell, and the move against Paul Fletcher in Bradfield is “considered unlikely to succeed”.

Matthew Denholm of The Australian reports Brendan Blomeley’s bid for the state presidency of the Tasmanian Liberal Party marks part of an effort by Eric Abetz’s conservative faction to gain control of the state executive with a view to placing Blomeley on the Senate ticket at the expense of Richard Colbeck, securing a political comeback for Abetz in state parliament, and potentially undermining the preselection of arch-moderate Bass MP Bridget Archer.

Eli Greenblat of The Australian reports the front-runners for Liberal preselection in Higgins are William Stoltz, senior manager at cybersecurity firm CyberCX and associate at the Australian National University’s National Security College, and Marcus Pearl, Port Phillip councillor and former mayor and chief executive of financial advisory and consulting services firm QMV. Katie Allen, who lost the seat to Labor’s Michelle Ananda-Rajah last year, is reportedly keen to run again, but faces resistance because she crossed the floor to oppose the Morrison government’s amendments to religious discrimination laws.

• Party sources cited by The Australian’s Feeding the Chooks column report that a disputes committee of the Liberal National Party in Queensland is likely to rule in favour of Senator Gerard Rennick’s challenge to his narrow preselection defeat last month, resulting in the process being repeated.

By-election latest:

• Quicker than I would have expected, the Western Australian Electoral Commission has conducted its full preference count from last Saturday’s Rockingham by-election. This showed Liberal candidate Peter Hudson finished third behind independent Hayley Edwards, the latter overcoming a primary vote deficit of 17.7% to 15.9% on preferences to lead by 22.1% to 21.0% at the final exclusion. Labor’s Magenta Marshall went on to win at the final count with 13,412 votes (61.4%) to Edwards’ 8443 (38.6%).

• While the preference distribution is still to be conducted, the last remaining postal votes have been added for the Fadden by-election, confirming a two-party swing to the LNP of 2.72%. On Thursday, Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review related a bullish take on the result presented to the Coalition party room by Senator James McGrath, which noted an elevated swing of 9% in “booths where there was a high rate of mortgages”. However, this was selectively based on the LNP primary vote in two booths – taking the newly developed Coomera and Pimpama area in total, the two-party swing was 5.5%. Further, the suburbs in question are dominated not so much by mortgage payers (32.8% of private dwellings as of the 2021 census, compared with 35.0% nationwide) as renters (55.5% compared with 30.6%). McGrath also claimed a 3.5% drop in independent Stewart Brooker’s vote was a measure of how much Labor benefited from top position on the ballot paper, which at least triples more judicious estimates of the donkey vote effect. Overlooked was the fact that Brooker was part of a field of thirteen this time and seven last time, and went from being the only independent to one of three.

Monday miscellany: seat entitlements, Voice and China polling, by-election latest (open thread)

Confirmation that New South Wales and Victoria will each lose a lower house seat, with Western Australia to gain one.

I don’t believe there will be any voting intention polling this week, apart from the usual Roy Morgan – and if you’re really desperate, Kevin Bonham has discovered a trove of its federal polling in a dark corner of its website. Other than that, there’s the following:

• The regular mid-term calculation of population-based state and territory seat entitlements for the House of Representatives was conducted last week, and it confirmed what anyone with a calculator could have worked out in advance, namely that New South Wales and Victoria will each lose a seat, Western Australia will gain one, and the size of the chamber will go from 151 to 150 (assuming the government doesn’t go the nuclear option of seeking to increase the size of parliament, which is under active consideration by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters). Antony Green has detailed blog posts on the looming redistributions for New South Wales, suggesting Sydney’s North Shore as the area most likely to have a seat abolished), Victoria, which is harder to call. Western Australia’s existing fifteen seats all have similar current enrolments, making it difficult to identify exactly where the sixteenth will be created, except that it is likely to be in an outer suburban growth area.

Michael McKenna of The Australian reports that Queensland Senator Gerard Rennick, who is appealing his recent Liberal National Party preselection defeat, has offered legal advice that Peter Dutton was wrongly told by party headquarters that he could not vote unless he attended the ballot, where other party notables were allowed to cast votes in absentia. Rennick lost the final round of the ballot to party treasurer Stuart Fraser by 131 votes to 128. The party’s disputes committee is likely to make a recommendation this week as to whether the preselection should be held again, which a party source is quoted describing as a “real possibility”.

Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review reports that a comprehensive internal poll conducted by Labor earlier this month from a sample of 14,300 found 48% in favour of an Indigenous Voice and 47% opposed, with yes leading in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Further, yes voters were more likely to be firmly resolved in their choice, with 40% saying they would definitely vote yes compared with 30% for a definite no.

• A survey encompassing 24 countries by the Pew Research Centre found Australia tying with Japan for having the least favourable attitudes towards China, with 87% expressing an unfavourable view.

• Labor has formally decided against fielding a candidate in Victoria’s Warrandyte by-election on August 26. The three official nominees thus far are Liberal candidate Nicole Werner, Greg Cheesman of the Freedom Party and Cary De Wit of the Democratic Labour Party. Endorsed Greens candidate Tomas Lightbody’s paperwork is evidently still on its way.

• In other by-election news, I can offer the following contribution to the debate as to how Labor in Western Australia should feel about the result in Rockingham on Saturday: they scored 67.6% of the two-party preferred vote in ordinary election day booths, which was hardly different from their 68.8% in the corresponding booths at last year’s federal election. This means Labor almost matched a result it achieved in the context of an election where the statewide two-party result was 55-45 in its favour.

Rockingham by-election live

Live coverage and some preliminary commentary on the by-election for Mark McGowan’s now former seat of Rockingham.

Click here for full display of Rockingham by-election results.

Final result (August 5)

Quicker than I would have expected, the WAEC has conducted its full preference count. My projection was correct in suggesting independent Hayley Edwards, who polled 15.9% of the primary vote, would overtake Liberal candidate Peter Hudson, on 17.7%, to make the final count. This she did with 4823 votes (22.1%) at the last exclusion to Hudson’s 4590 (21.0%). The final result was 13,412 (61.4%) to Labor’s Magenta Marshall and 8443 (38.6%) to Edwards, compared with the 10.8% winning margin projected by my preference estimates. The media feed still records an abandoned TCP count between Marshall and Hudson, which is reflected in what’s on my results page.

Live commentary

11pm. I have corrected a preference model that was significantly flattering Labor in its projected lead over Hayley Edwards, which I now have at 10.7% rather than 16.1%. Edwards rather than the Liberal candidate is projected to make the final count because the preference model has her ahead 23.1% to 21.9% at the final exclusion. Happily, the WAEC’s notional two-candidate count means the Labor-versus-Liberal two-party preferred is recorded for posterity, at least up to the present point in the count. For all the contingent factors that undoubtedly contributed to the 22.5% swing, it is notable that it exceeds Labor’s statewide winning margin in 2021.

8.31pm. The WAEC feed doesn’t seem to have updated for about 15 minutes, which might suggest that’s it for the evening.

8.24pm. My results page is updating again after a bit of a blip, and the two-party swing against Labor is now north of 20% — higher than they would like, but not a disaster of the scale intimated by the opinion poll. That’s if the Liberal candidate indeed finishes second ahead of Hayley Edwards, which remains unclear. In any case, Labor’s Magenta Marshall has at all times looked to be in the ballpark of 50% on the primary vote and in zero danger of actually losing.

7.56pm. The WAEC is now letting its TCP results into the wild, which show what I reckon to be a 17% swing against Labor. This would be a bad result for them under normal circumstances, but it may be noted that the Utting Research poll recorded a 24% swing, without the loss of a Mark McGowan personal vote being a factor as it presumably is here.

7.52pm. Types rows have been restored to my results table.

7.30pm. A huge 5037 votes that I thought were going to be counted under “Rockingham EVC” have been added as “Early Votes (In Person)”. That they don’t have their own line on my page at this stage due to the bug discussed below is disappointing, but the results are entirely in line with the norm in having Magenta Marshall with almost exactly half of the primary vote.

7.28pm. My probability gauge isn’t quite doing what it should be — “probability unavailable as preference count unclear” should only be appearing if the distinction could conceivably make a difference to result, and it is clear Labor will win regardless of whether Hayley Edwards or the Liberals make the final count.

7.22pm. Eight booths now, but the overall trends are so clear that distinctions between them individually are pretty fine.

7.15pm. The special hospitals, remotes and mobiles has reported, so I was wrong to say earlier that the “types” rows wouldn’t be needed this evening. This amounts to 129 formal votes, the results of which you can work out by comparing the difference between the “polling booths sub-total” and “total” rows.

7.12pm. The early voting centre has reported with only 688, which I’m puzzled by because nearly 11,000 early votes were cast and most of them would have been there. Perhaps the result there will be updated progressively. Since my projections assumed as much, they are now out of whack.

7.07pm. Five booths in on the primary vote, and either there are no TCPs reporting yet or the WAEC is sitting on the results because it’s not sure the Liberal candidate will come second.

7.05pm. The WAEC’s TCP count, for which we have no results yet, is Labor versus Liberal.

7.02pm. I’ve done an ugly fix on the big issue by removing the “types” rows, which we won’t be needing tonight anyway. Four booths now on the primary vote, and while Labor has dipped below 50% on the raw primary vote, I’m projecting them to make it just over when all the votes are in. Nothing to separate Hayley Edwards and the Liberal candidate for second, but this will ultimately be academic.

6.58pm. Making progress on the bug fixes, but not all the way there yet. Now we’ve got three booths in, and the projection continues to be for a Labor primary vote in the low fifties.

6.53pm. We have a booth in, and while my system has a bug of some description, the result you can see is Bungaree Primary School, where the swings are consistent with Labor scoring slightly over 50% of the primary vote.

6pm. Polls have closed, and with that the start of a nervous wait for both candidates and those of us who are hoping our live results pages will function smoothly. For the time being my set-up assumes the WAEC’s notional two-candidate count will be between Labor and Liberal, but it can’t be ruled out that they will have gone with independent Hayley Edwards rather than the Liberal. The WAEC has unusual practices on this count – if memory serves, it only publishes the results once it is satisfied the candidates it has picked are the correct ones. My own projection will make up its own mind as to who the leading candidates are, and will work off preference estimates unless and until the WAEC has numbers for the same pair of candidates as those determined by my system.

Saturday morning

Today is the day of the by-election for the Western Australian state seat of Rockingham, arising from the unanticipated retirement of Mark McGowan. Here I offer my customary overview of the by-election; here, my coverage of a state opinion poll this week that greatly increased the level of interest surrounding the by-election; and here, if you’re a Crikey subscriber, my account of the potential federal implications of a collapse in Labor support in Western Australia, if that’s indeed what we’re seeing. This post will supplemented with live coverage of the account from 6pm this evening, and the site will as usual feature its famed live results, offering projections, probability estimates and a booth results map.

The West Australian is reporting that Rockingham deputy mayor and independent candidate Hayley Edwards is emerging as an outside chance, after a straw poll it conducted at pre-polling found 22 out of 73 respondents saying they had voted for her, compared with 34 for Labor candidate Magenta Marshall (leaving only 17 for others, among them Liberal candidate Peter Hudson). Another report in the paper today breathlessly relates a late change in Labor’s how-to-vote card has moved Edwards from third to eighth, ahead only of obscure independent Peter D. Dunne. This is sold as a “sign the ALP is worried the election for the long-held and uber-safe seat will be decided on preferences”, though the logic behind this is unclear.

It is one thing for a result to be “decided on preferences”, which will happen in the seemingly plausible event that Labor’s primary vote falls from the 82.8% Mark McGowan received in 2021 to below 50%. But the preferences of those who vote Labor will only enter the equation if its candidate fails to reach the final count, which would require what Kevin Bonham described yesterday as “the worst result in the history of everything”. It should be noted that the change in Labor’s how-to-vote card is a response in kind to Edwards, a former party member whose own how-to-vote card equally has all comers but Peter D. Dunne ahead of Magenta Marshall.

Polls: Essential Research, WA Voice results, Ukraine support (open thread)

Essential Research records Anthony Albanese’s softest personal ratings since the election, plus more results from Utting Research’s eyebrow-raising poll from Western Australia.

Three batches of poll results, plus relevant news on the Indigenous Voice referendum and Victoria’s Warrandyte state by-election:

• The Guardian reports the latest fortnightly Essential Research poll has Anthony Albanese’s approval rating below half for the first time since the election, dropping six points in its monthly reading to 48%, with disapproval up six to 41%. Peter Dutton is up one on approval to 37% and down two on disapproval to 43%. The report does not provide the poll’s voting intention numbers, which should be with us later today. In other findings, 41% approved and 36% disapproved of the Victorian government’s cancellation of the Commonwealth Games, with support at 44% from the poll’s modest sample of Victorian respondents. The poll had a sample of 1150 and was presumably conducted as per usual from Wednesday to Sunday. UPDATE: The voting intention numbers are Labor 31% (down one), Coalition 32% (steady), Greens 14% (steady) and One Nation 7% (down one), with undecided up one to 6%. This is the first time the Coalition has led on the primary vote in this series since the election, and the 2PP+ lead of Labor 50% (down one) to Coalition 45% (up one), with undecided on 6% (up one), is equal narrowest. Full report here.

• The West Australian today brings further results from the Utting Research poll that credited the state Liberals with a 54-46 lead, finding 58% planning to vote no on the Indigenous Voice compared with 29% for yes and 13% undecided. With the latter excluded, the result is exactly two-thirds yes and one-third no. Since other recent polling from Western Australia has tended to suggest only a modest leaning towards no, it’s tempting to regard this as evidence that the poll struck a heavily conservative rogue sample, and to interpret the voting intention numbers accordingly. The poll further records 54% saying the state’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act had made them less likely to vote for the Voice, compared with 16% for more likely, 23% for neither and 7% for unsure.

• The Age/Herald had yet more results from last week’s Resolve Strategic poll on Sunday, showing 31% in favour of increased support for Ukraine, 45% support for retaining it at its current level and only 9% support for decreasing or withdrawing support.

Tom McIlroy of the Financial Review reports 60,000 Indigenous voters have been added to the electoral roll since the end of last year, increasing the enrolment rate from 84.5% to 94.1%. This followed “sustained work” by the Australian Electoral Commission encompassing “special enrolment strategies, direct enrolment rules for remote communities, and changes to allow voters to enrol a Medicare card”. As noted here previously, the Indigenous enrolment surge has led to a proposed redistribution for the Northern Territory parliament being scrapped and started again.

Tom Cowie of The Age reports Labor “looks increasingly unlikely to field a contender” at the Victorian state by-election for Warrandyte on August 26. The Greens have endorsed Manningham deputy mayor Tomas Lightbody. Other candidates include independent Maya Tesa, a past Liberal Democrats candidate who polled 7.0% as an independent at the Aston by-election on April 1.

Utting Research: 54-46 to Liberal in Western Australia

Amid a backlash over Aboriginal heritage laws, a game-changing set of state voting intention numbers from Western Australia.

The West Australian brings us the most remarkable poll result in many a long day, with Utting Research crediting the state Liberals with a 54-46 lead on two-party preferred. This reverses a 61-39 lead for Labor from the same pollster immediately after Roger Cook’s took the leadership in early June, to say nothing of the 70-30 result at the 2021 election. On the primary vote, Labor drops twenty points from the May poll to 32%, with the Liberals up nine to 37%, the Nationals up one to 6%, the Greens up two to 10% and “others” up eight to 15%. Roger Cook is down fifteen on approval to 27% and up eleven on disapproval to 37%. Liberal leader Libby Mettam is steady on 31% approval but down nine on disapproval to 24%, marking a significant move in favour of “unsure”. All of which suddenly makes Saturday’s Rockingham by-election a lot more interesting than it had seemed.

The West Australian’s report quotes pollster John Utting not unreasonably arguing that the backlash over Aboriginal heritage laws has likely contributed to the result. Interestingly, the report also says “polls by robocalling tend to skew towards an older, more conservative demographic, while Labor’s success under Mr McGowan had been with less engaged younger voters”, although it then talks up Utting Research’s track record. The poll was indeed conducted by robopolling, from Tuesday to Thursday with a sample of 1000.

Weekend miscellany: NSW Liberal preselections, Voice polling and more (open thread)

Four federal Liberals face preselection challenges as factional tensions in the NSW branch reignite.

It was noted here last week that the Liberals had opened nominations in eight of the nine federal seats they hold in New South Wales, making an exception for Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook so as not to put him in an awkward spot as the party gently persuades him to bring forward his retirement. The Guardian reports that challengers to incumbents have come forward in four of these seats, three of which have been gestating since before the last election. They were largely thwarted on that occasion by the designs of one of their targets, Mitchell MP Alex Hawke, who was able to clog up the process long enough to compel the party hierarchy to resolve the matter in favour of the incumbents just weeks before the onset of the campaign.

Hawke is a close ally of Scott Morrison and a leading figure in the centre right faction, which had been left marginalised by deals between moderates and conservatives, and was weakened still further by the election defeat. Relatedly, Hawke faces a conservative-driven motion before the party’s state council to expel him over his tactics before the election. A recurring theme of the current round of challenges is that conservatives who were thwarted last time are now hopeful that Hawke and his faction will be too weak to fend them off. The aspirant in Hawke’s own seat of Mitchell in Sydney’s north-west, then and now, is Michael Abrahams, a lieutenant-colonel in the Army Reserve.

Also under pressure are two senior front-benchers, including no less a figure than the deputy party leader, Sussan Ley. Ley had variously been associated with the moderate and centre right factions, and appeared to be under pressure in her rural seat of Farrer before the last election following a conservative recruitment drive in local party branches. On that occasion her prospective challenger was Christian Ellis, a public relations specialist noted locally as a campaigner for water rights, who like Abrahams was thwarted by the national executive intervention. This time she will reportedly be opposed by Jean Haynes, a Deniliquin school teacher who appeared to have a seat in the state upper house lined up in December after the party hierarchy intervened to dump three male incumbents and replace them with women. However, a revision to the plan saw her make way for Rachel Merton, in part due to moderate objections over her role in Ellis’s challenge to Ley.

The other senior figure who faces a rival nominee is Paul Fletcher, former Communications Minister and member for the northern Sydney seat of Bradfield, where he was run uncomfortably close at the election by unheralded teal independent Nicolette Boele. However, the challenge from Paul Nettelbeck, described by The Guardian as a “communications expert who previously worked for the Menzies Research Institute”, is understood to be “primarily a defensive manoeuvre to prevent Fletcher retiring and passing his seat uncontested to a NSW moderate”. In the wake of the Aston by-election defeat in April, Niki Savva of the Age/Herald related that both Ley and Fletcher, together with Dan Tehan and Angus Taylor, had been “openly displaying their wares” in anticipation of a possible move against Peter Dutton’s leadership.

Also facing a challenge is the centre right-aligned Melissa McIntosh, whose success in increasing her margin in the difficult seat of Lindsay last year has seemingly failed to mollify local conservatives. McIntosh is again opposed by Mark Davies, Penrith councillor and husband of state Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies, who called off his challenge before the last election under the terms of a factional deal.

Other news:

• The Age/Herald has published results on the Indigenous Voice from this week’s Resolve Strategic poll, which found no leading 52-48 on a forced response question, compared with 51-49 a month ago. When an uncommitted option was included, 36% opted for yes (down six) and 42% no (up two). State breakdowns had no leading 51-49 in New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia and 58-42 in Queensland, with yes leading 52-48 in Victoria and 54-46 in Tasmania (with caution due for small samples sizes particularly in the smaller states). The poll was conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1610.

• Roy Morgan conducted one of its “snap SMS” polls this week in the wake of the Victorian government’s cancellation of the Commonwealth Games, which credited the state Labor government with a 53-47 lead on two-party preferred, compared with an implausible 61.5-38.5 at the last such poll in May. The primary votes were Labor 33% (down nine), Coalition 35.5% (up seven) and Greens 12.5% (steady). Forced response questions found Daniel Andrews with 45% approval and 55% disapproval, but leading John Pesutto as preferred premier by 52.5-47.5; and a 58-42 majority in favour of cancelling the games, leaving unanswered the question of whether it was a good idea to take them on in the first place. The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 1046.

• As for the weekly federal voting intention numbers from Roy Morgan, which I don’t focus on much due to the haphazard manner in which they are published, Labor holds an unusually narrow two-party lead of 53-47, in from 54.5-45.5 last time. However, the primary votes suggest the movement is largely down to preference flows, with Labor on 35.5%, the Coalition on 35% and the Greens on 12.5%, suggesting a 54-46 lead to Labor based on previous election preferences.

Niki Savva’s column this week in the Age/Herald related that data collated from 2500 households during door-knocking of the Kooyong electorate by teal independent MP Monique Ryan and her supporters found 58.5% in favour of the Indigenous Voice, 45.1% strongly; 30.6% neutral or unsure; and only 11.3% opposed. Recent poll results hawked by Liberal Senator James Patterson showing no with its nose in front in Kooyong were credulously reported by Sky News.

Simon Benson of The Australian reports JWS Research polling conducted for the Minerals Council of Australia initially found 46% in favour of the government’s “same job, same pay” industrial relations reforms, with 19% opposed — but many were said to have had misapprehensions that the reforms related to the gender pay gap. After being shown business lobby advertising attacking the reforms, the results were 26% supportive and 47% opposed. When further shown union advertising supporting the reforms, the result came out at 31% for and 34% against.

• As related in the previous post, draft new state boundaries for Western Australia proposing abolishing a Nationals-held regional seat, one of only six out of 59 not held by Labor, and the creation of a safe Labor seat in southern Perth. This has naturally infuriated the Nationals and supportive interests, coming as it does on the heels of upper house reforms that abolish a scheme that divides seats evenly between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, despite the former accounting for three-quarters of the state’s population. In other redistribution news, I am indebted to Ben Raue at the Tally Room for paying attention to the redistribution for the Northern Territory parliament, which has been passing beneath my radar. An initial set of draft boundaries that was published in May has been scrapped altogether due to a surge of enrolment in remote communities ahead of the Indigenous Voice referendum, driven by a push in the Australian Electoral Commission’s direct enrolment campaign.