Newspoll: 50-50

Newspoll has it at 50-50, with Julia Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is essentially unchanged, from 50-34 to 50-35. The primary votes are 37 per cent Labor, 44 per cent Coalition and 12 per cent Greens. More to follow.

UPDATE: Full results here, plus bonus stuff on leaders’ personality traits here. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is actually up a point to 42 per cent, but her disapproval is up three to 40 per cent. Tony Abbott’s approval is up four points to 44 per cent and his disapproval steady on 46 per cent.

We also have Essential Research in at 54-46 for Labor, down from 55-45 over recent weeks. As Bernard Keane reports it in Crikey:

Labor’s primary vote has dropped a point to 40%, only slightly ahead of the Coalition, which has remained steady on 39%. The Greens, too, have remained steady on 13%, as yet undented by the impact of the campaign. That yields a 2PP outcome of 54-46.

On approval ratings, however, Gillard has gone backwards, with a three-point fall in approval and a five-point rise in disapproval, to 46-38% — her lowest net approval rating in her limited time as PM. Abbott has picked up three points in approval, although that’s offset by a small increase in disapproval, meaning he continues with a net disapproval rating — 38-48%.

Gillard’s lead as better PM has shrunk seven points from 25 last week to 48-30% this week. There’s still a very big gender gap on better PM: Gillard’s lead among men is 12 points; among women, 24 points — 50-26%. Men and women now equally disapprove of Tony Abbott — 48% — but he leads amongst men in approval ratings, 41-35%. Gillard has a much lower disapproval rating among women.

However, the Coalition will be buoyed by the positive reception of Abbott’s pledge to cap immigration at 170,000, with 64% of voters approving and only 22% rejecting the notion. Support is very strong amongst Liberal voters — 91% — but even Labor voters like it (52-32%). The Coalition has a big lead among voters in perceptions of who is best at handling immigration, 35-23% over Labor.

UPDATE 2: Full Essential Research report here. “Reason for voting preference” has four times as many people voting Coalition because the government has been bad than voting for Labor because it has been good, and four times as many people citing the leaders as the reason for voting Labor than Coalition. Julia Gillard’s personal ratings reflect the overall trend in showing her three points down on approval to 46 per cent and up five points up on disapproval to 38 per cent. However, Tony Abbott records more modest changes, up three on approval to 38 per cent and up two on disapproval to 48 per cent. At 47-30, Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is basically the same as Kevin Rudd’s in his last poll, although her +8 approval rating compares with Rudd’s -6. A question on attitudes to the Senate finds respondents perfectly divided as to whether a minor party balance-of-power situation is a good thing (though I can only say the 10 per cent who favour Opposition control of the Senate haven’t thought things through). Very strong support is recorded for Tony Abbott’s lower immigration target, and the Coalition are favoured as best party on immigration.

Harvest time

The group voting tickets for the Senate, which determine how preferences will be allocated for the overwhelming majority of voters who vote above-the-line, can now be viewed on the Australian Electoral Commission site. Below I have condensed most of the tickets to their essentials, reducing it to ordering of parties that can conceivably win and major party candidates whose election is in doubt (i.e. the third ones on the list). If you’re planning on voting above-the-line for a minor party other than the Greens, this should help you determined where your vote will end up.

First, some points of immediately obvious significance should be noted. The Greens are fuming that the Democrats have put them behind Labor in South Australia, and especially behind the Liberals in the Australian Capital Territory, contrary to what they believed was a deal – or at least a very strong understanding – that preferences would be exchanged across the country. Certainly the Greens have come good on their half of such a deal, outside of putting them behind Cheryl Kernot in New South Wales. This seriously damages their chances of unseating Liberal Senator Gary Humphries in the ACT.

Secondly, Antony Green’s first impression is that the best chance of a minor party boilover on the back of preference harvesting lies with the Climate Sceptics and Family First in South Australia. Thirdly, while I haven’t crunched the numbers yet, it looks superficially to me like the same could be said of the Christian Democratic Party in Western Australia – whose preference-harvesting abilities are spoken of in hushed terms by informed observers, despite their consistent failure to get over the line. Finally, also in Western Australia, it turns out the ballyhooed WA First party were not able to register in time for the election, and will appear as a generic group on the ballot paper.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Socialist Alliance: Greens; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Democrats; Cheryl Kernot; Coalition; Liberal Democrats; Shooters and Fishers; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Christian Democratic Party; One Nation.

Communist: Greens; Labor; Democrats; Cheryl Kernot; Australian Sex Party; Family First; One Nation; Christian Democrats; Coalition.

Citizens Electoral Council: Liberal Democrats; Family First; Coalition; One Nation; Cheryl Kernot; Democratic Labor Party; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Greens.

Democrats: Cheryl Kernot; Australian Sex Party; Liberal Democrats; Greens; half-Labor/half-Coalition; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; half-Labor/half-Coalition; Shooters and Fishers; Christian Democratic Party; One Nation.

Climate Sceptics: Liberal Democrats; One Nation; Family First; Democratic Labor Party; Shooters and Fishers; Christian Democratic Party; Australian Sex Party; Coalition; Cheryl Kernot; Democrats; Labor Greens.

Shooters and Fishers: Christian Democratic Party; Coalition; Family First; One Nation; Liberal Democrats; Democratic Labor Party; Labor; Australian Sex Party; Democrats; Cheryl Kernot; Greens.

Democratic Labor Party: Liberal Democrats; One Nation; Family First; Christian Democraticc Party; Shooters and Fishers; Democrats; Labor; Coalition; Cheryl Kernot; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Australian Sex Party: Liberal Democrats; Democrats; Greens; Cheryl Kernot; Labor; Coalition; Shooters and Fishers; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; One Nation; Christian Democratic Party.

David Barker: Liberal Democrats; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Christian Democratic Party; One Nation; Shooters and Fishers; Cheryl Kernot; Democrats; Labor; Coalition; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Non-Custodial Parents Party: Liberal Democrats; half Family First, half Christian Democratic Party; One Nation; Fishers and Shooters; Democratic Labor Party; Coalition; Democrats; Cheryl Kernot; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Greens.

Family First: Coalition; Democratic Labor Party; Christian Democratic Party; Liberal Democrats; Shooters and Fishers; One Nation; Labor; Democrats; Cheryl Kernot; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Labor: Greens; Liberal Democrats; Christian Democratic Party; Democratic Labor Party; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Shooters and Fishers; Family First; Cheryl Kernot; Coalition; One Nation.

Carers Alliance: Democrats; half Labor, half Coalition; Greens; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Shooters and Fishers; One Nation; Liberal Democrats; Christian Democratic Party; Cheryl Kernot; Australian Sex Party.

Christian Democrats: Coalition; Family First; Shooters and Fishers; One Nation; Labor; Cheryl Kernot; Democrats; Greens; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Coalition: Christian Democratic Party; Family First; Democratic Labor Party; Democrats; Liberal Democrats; Cheryl Kernot; Greens; Australian Sex Party; One Nation.

One Nation: Democratic Labor Party; Liberal Democrats; Shooters and Fishers; Christian Democratic Party; Family First; Coalition; Democrats; Cheryl Kernot; Labor; Greens; Australian Sex Party.

Greens: Cheryl Kernot; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Labor: Coalition; Liberal Democrats; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Shooters and Fishers; Christian Democratic Party; One Nation.

Cheryl Kernot: half Greens, half Democrats; Australian Sex Party; half Labor, half Coalition; Liberal Democrats; Family First; Shooters and Fishers; Democratic Labor Party; Christian Democratic Party; One Nation.

Liberal Democrats: Democrats; Democratic Labor Party; Australian Sex Party; Family First; Shooters and Fishers; One Nation; Cheryl Kernot; Christian Democratic Party; Labor; Coalition; Greens.

VICTORIA

Joseph Toscano: Greens; Stephen Mayne; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Democratic Labor Party; Christian Democratic Party; Coalition; One Nation.

Family First: Christian Democratic Party; Democratic Labor Party; Stephen Mayne; One Nation; Coalition; Labor; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Greens: Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Stephen Mayne; Labor; Coalition; Democratic Labor Party; Christian Democratic Party; Family First; One Nation.

Democratic Labor Party: Christian Democratic Party; One Nation; Family First; Coalition; Labor; Stephen Mayne; Greens; Democrats; Australian Sex Party.

Democrats: Australian Sex Party; Greens; Labor; Stephen Mayne; Coalition; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Christian Democratic Party; One Nation.

Shooters and Fishers: Coalition; Family First; Democratic Labor Party; Christian Democratic Party; Labor; One Nation; Democrats; Stephen Mayne; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Australian Sex Party: Democrats; Greens; Stephen Mayne; Labor; Coalition; Shooters and Fishers; Democratic Labor Party; One Nation; Christian Democratic Party; Family First.

Climate Sceptics: Family First; Democratic Labor Party; One Nation; Christian Democratic Party; Coalition; Labor; Democrats; Stephen Mayne; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Socialist Alliance: Greens; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Democrats; Stephen Mayne; Coalition; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Christian Democrats; One Nation.

Citizens Electoral Council: Family First; Australian Sex Party; Christian Democrats; One Nation; Stephen Mayne, Coalition; Democratic Labor Party; Democrats; Labor; Greens.

One Nation: Democratic Labor Party; Stephen Mayne, Family First; Democrats; Christian Democratic Party; Australian Sex Party; Coalition; Labor; Greens.

Coalition: Family First; Democratic Labor Party; Christian Democratic Party; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Stephen Mayne; Greens; Labor; One Nation.

Christian Democratic Party: Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Coalition; Stephen Mayne; One Nation; Labor; Democrats; Greens; Australian Sex Party.

Labor: Greens; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Stephen Mayne; Democratic Labor Party; Family First; Coalition; Christian Democrats; One Nation.

Carers Alliance: Stephen Mayne; Democrats; half Labor, half Liberal; Greens; half Family First, Australian Sex Party, One Nation; half Australian Sex Party, One Nation, Family First.

Liberal Democrats: Australian Sex Party; Democratic Labor Party; One Nation; Stephen Mayne; Democrats; Family First; Coalition; Labor; Christian Democrats; Greens.

Stephen Mayne: half Family First, half Greens; Democratic Labor Party; Democrats; Christian Democrats; Australian Sex Party; half Coalition, half Labor; One Nation.

QUEENSLAND

Carers Alliance: Democrats; half Labor, half Coalition; Greens; Family First; Christian Democrats; One Nation; Australian Sex Party.

Family First: Christian Democrats; One Nation; Coalition; Democrats; Labor; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Shooters and Fishers: Christian Democrats; Family First; Coalition; One Nation; Labor; Australian Sex Party; Democrats; Greens.

One Nation: Christian Democrats; Coalition; Australian Sex Party; Democrats; Family First; Labor; Greens.

Democrats: Greens; Australian Sex Party; half Coalition, half Labor; Christian Democrats; Family First; One Nation.

Australia First: One Nation; Family First; Australian Sex Party; Christian Democrats; Democrats; Labor; Coalition; Greens.

Secular Party of Australia: Democrats; Greens; Labor; Coalition; Family First; Christian Democrats; One Nation.

Climate Sceptics: Family First; One Nation; Christian Democrats; Coalition; Labor; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Citizens Electoral Council: Coalition; Family First; One Nation; Christian Democrats; Democrats; Labor; Greens.

Coalition: Family First; Christian Democrats; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens; Labor; One Nation.

Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party: Coalition; Christian Democrats; Family First; Democrats; One Natin; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Greens.

Australian Sex Party: Democrats; Greens; Labor; Coalition; Christian Democrats; Family First; One Nation.

Greens: Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Coalition; One Nation; Family First; Christian Democrats.

Socialist Alliance: Greens; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Democrats; Coalition; Family First; Christian Democrats; One Nation.

Labor: Greens; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Christian Democrats; Family First; Coalition; One Nation.

Liberal Democrats: One Nation; Democrats; Family First; Coalition; Labor; Christian Democrats; Greens;

Democratic Labor Party: Christian Democrats; One Nation; Family First; Coalition; Labor; Democrats;
Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Christian Democrats: Family First; Coalition; One Nation; Labor; Greens; Democrats; Australian Sex Party.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Greens: Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Liberal; Nationals; WA First; Family First; Christian Democrats; One Nation.

Nationals: Family First; WA First; Democrats; Christian Democrats; Liberal; Labor; Greens; Australian Sex Party.

Liberal: Christian Democrats; National; WA First; Family First; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens; Labor; One Nation.

Citizens Electoral Council: Family First; WA First; Christian Democrats; Liberal; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; National; Labor; Greens.

Australian Sex Party: Democrats; Greens; Labor; Liberal; WA First; National; Family First; Christian Democrats.

Socialist Alliance: Greens; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Democrats; Liberal; Nationals; Family First; Christian Democrats; WA First.

Climate Sceptics: WA First; Family First; Christian Democrats; One Nation; Nationals; Liberal; Labor; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Democratic Labor Party: Christian Democrats; Family First; One Nation; WA First; National; Labor; Democrats; Liberal; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Secular Party of Australia: Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens; Labor; Liberal; Nationals; WA First; One Nation; Family First; Christian Democrats.

Family First: Nationals; Christian Democrats; WA First; One Nation; Liberal; Labor; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

One Nation: Christian Democrats; National; Family First; WA First; Australian Sex Party; Liberal; Greens; Labor.

Democrats: WA First; Australian Sex Party; Greens; Nationals; half Labor, half Liberal; Family First; Christian Democrats.

Labor: Greens; Christian Democrats; Australian Sex Party; WA First; Democrats; Family First; Nationals; Liberal; One Nation.

Liberal Democrats: WA First; Australian Sex Party; Democrats; One Nation; Family First; Nationals; Liberal; Labor; Christian Democrats; Greens.

Christian Democrats: WA First; Family First; Nationals; Labor; Liberal; Democrats; Greens; Australian Sex Party.

Shooters and Fishers: Christian Democrats; Nationals; Liberal; Family First; One Nation; Labor; WA First; Australian Sex Party; Democrats; Greens.

Carers Alliance: Democrats; half Labor, Liberal, Nationals, half Liberal, Nationals, Labor; Greens; Family First; Christian Democrats; Australian Sex Party; One Nation; WA First.

WA First: Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Christian Democrats; Nationals; Family First; Liberal; Labor; Greens; One Nation.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Climate Sceptics: One Nation; Family First; Christian Democratic; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Liberal; Labor; Greens.

Labor: Greens; Family First; Democrats; Christian Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Liberal; One Nation.

Liberal: Family First; Christian Democrats; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens; Labor; One Nation.

One Nation: Family First; Christian Democrats; Liberal; Democrats; Labor; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Democratic Labor Party Christian Democrats; One Nation; Family First; Liberal; Labor; Democrats; Australian Sex Party; Greens.

Christian Democrats: Family First; One Nation; Liberal; Labor; Greens; Democrats; Australian Sex Party.

Carers Alliance: Democrats; half Labor, half Liberal; half Greens, One Nation, Christian Democrats, half One Nation, Christian Democrats, Greens; Australian Sex Party; Family First.

Greens: Democrats; Labor; Australian Sex Party; Liberal; Christian Democrats; One Nation; Family First.

Shooters and Fishers: Family First; Christian Democrats; Liberal; One Nation; Australian Sex Party; Democrats; Labor; Greens.

Democrats: Australian Sex Party; Labor; Greens; Liberal; One Nation; Family First; Christian Democrats.

Socialist Alliance: Greens; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Democrats; Liberal; Family First; Christian Democrats; One Nation.

Liberal Democrats: One Nation; Christian Democrats; Democrats; Family First; Australian Sex Party; Labor; Liberal; Greens.

Australian Sex Party: Democrats; Greens; Labor; Liberal; One Nation; Christian Democrats; Family First.

Family First: Christian Democrats; One Nation; Liberal; Labor; Democrats; Greens; Australian Sex Party.

TASMANIA

Democrats: Greens; Labor; Liberal; Family First.

Liberal: Family First; Democrats; Labor; Greens.

Labor: Greens; Democrats; Family First; Liberal.

Shooters and Fishers: Liberal; Family First; Labor; Democrats;
Greens.

Greens: Democrats; Labor; Liberal; Family First.

Democratic Labor Party: Liberal; Family First; Democrats; Labor; Greens.

Family First: Liberal; Labor; Democrats; Greens.

Climate Sceptics: Family First; Liberal; Labor; Democrats; Greens.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Labor: Greens; Democrats; Liberal.

Democrats: Liberal; Greens; Labor.

Greens: Democrats; Labor; Liberal.

Liberal: Democrats; Greens; Labor.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Australian Sex Party: Greens; Labor; Country Liberal.

Shooters and Fishers: Country Liberals; Labor; Greens.

Country Liberals: Greens; Labor.

Citizens Electoral Council: Country Liberals; Labor; Greens.

Labor: Greens; Country Liberals.

Greens: Labor; Country Liberals.

Advertiser poll: 52-48 to Liberal in Boothby

Adelaide’s Sunday Mail newspaper (a News Limited stablemate of The Advertiser) has published a poll of 564 voters conducted on Wednesday in the Adelaide electorate of Boothby, which shows the Liberals with a 52-48 two-party lead. This represents a 1 per cent swing to Labor, but it comes off a disastrous local campaign in 2007 when the swing to Labor was limited to 2.4 per cent, compared with 6.8 per cent statewide. On the primary vote, Liberal member Andrew Southcott is on 46 per cent against 35 per cent for Labor candidate Annabel Digance, 10 per cent for the Greens and 3 per cent for Family First. Further attitudinal questions are better for Labor than might be expected: the Liberals’ lead as best party to manage the economy is 48 per cent to 43 per cent, Labor leads on the River Murray 46 per cent to 29 per cent, and 45 per cent of respondents believed Gillard cares more about families compared with 36 per cent for Tony Abbott. The margin of error on the poll is about 4 per cent. The previous Advertiser poll a week ago had Labor with a staggering 67-33 lead in Kingston, where their margin is 4.5 per cent.

Nielsen: 52-48 to Coalition

Courtesy of the always reliable GhostWhoVotes, we are informed of a bombshell Nielsen poll which puts the Coalition at an election-winning 52-48 lead, from primary votes of 45 per cent for the Coalition, 36 per cent for Labor and 12 per cent for the Greens. More to follow.

UPDATE: Michelle Grattan reports “the gender gap on voting intention has disappeared, with primary and two-party-preferred votes now little different” – which frankly doesn’t seem likely. Julia Gillard’s approval rating is down five points to 51 per cent and her disapproval up six to 39 per cent, while Tony Abbott is up six points on approval to 49 per cent and disapproval down six to 45 per cent. Gillard’s lead on preferred prime minister has narrowed from 55-34 to 49-41. The poll was conducted from Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 1356.

UPDATE 2: Possum has full demographic tables here. Not that it should offer Labor too much comfort, but the size of their slump among women (58-42 to 49-51) and in NSW (59-41 to 42-58) looks overcooked.

Victorian federal redistribution proposal

In an inconvenient bit of timing for the psephological fraternity, the Australian Electoral Commission has published proposed draft boundaries of federal electorates for Victoria. Antony Green notes Sharman Stone’s seat of Murray is abolished – perhaps setting up a Liberal-versus-Nationals contest involving Stone at the next election in the seat of Mallee. The new seat is Burke, extending from the strongly Labor outer north of Melbourne through more conservative territory to the Macedon Ranges. Burke revives a name that was put out of commission when Victoria lost a seat at the previous redistribution, meaning Wills is no longer out on a limb. There is now a period where objections will be lodged and the boundaries probably slightly revised – obviously these boundaries will not be in effect for the election.

Please keep this thread for the redistribution – general discussion regarding the election should go to the thread below.

UPDATE: Some impressions gleaned from discussions here and elsewhere. Jenny Macklin’s seat of Jagajaga might become loseable owing to losses at the Heidelberg end and gains at semi-rural Diamond Creek. VexNews notes that the addition of Endeavour Hills to Aston (where Alan Tudge will succeed Chris Pearce as Liberal candidate at the coming election) could make life difficult for them in what had once been a safe seat. Psephos notes that Burke might become available for Rob Mitchell in 2013 should he win McEwen in 2010, and that McEwen rather than Mallee might be an option for Sharman Stone given it will now include Shepparton.

Highlights of week two

My federal election guide is at long last open for business – note the link on the sidebar below the Crikey Daily Mail ad. It could have done with another proof read, so apologies for any broken links, misplaced slabs of text or references to Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister that might remain. Entries will be progressively updated/corrected/tarted up in the weeks to come.

Miscellaneous recent happenings:

• Nominations have closed, and the ballot paper draw will be conducted tomorrow. The Australian Electoral Commission informs us there are 14,030,528 names on the electoral roll: click here for astoundingly detailed age and gender breakdowns by electorate.

• The Age reports the High Court will hear a constitutional challenge by GetUp! against the closure of the electoral rolls on the evening the writs are issued, as provided for by the Howard government’s 2005 electoral law changes.

• ABC TV’s The Gruen Nation and The Chaser’s Yes We Canberra! cleaned up in the ratings on Wednesday, recording 1.6 million and 1.5 million viewers respectively. This brings to mind a growing field of study in the United States on the impact of “soft news” (usual suspects: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert) as a bona fide campaign information source for those bored by or cynical of the established news media institutions.

• As in 2007, Google has put together an election site which will come into its own, at least for my purposes, when polling booth locations are added as promised “closer to election day”.

Horse race stuff:

• Andrew Probyn of The West Australian reports Labor internal polling has them at 50-50 in Hasluck and Swan, but trailing 53-47 in Canning. Labor are also said to be expecting a Greens preference split of about 65-35 compared with 76-24 in 2007. It is noted that a lower flow of Greens preferences is expected in Hasluck in particular as both the Greens and the Liberals have endorsed Aboriginal candidates.

• This is how Brisbane academic and blogger Mark Bahnisch sees his local turf:

Longman is looking good for the ALP, with 20 year old LNP candidate Wyatt Roy failing to swing voters. Petrie is showing more evidence of a swing towards the Coalition, though the LNP candidate Dean Teasdale is low profile and Labor holds it by a relatively solid margin compared to its two neighbours. (Teasdale initially expressed scepticism about the rail promise, only to have the Coalition leadership match the funding later in the afternoon.) Dickson is looking very bad for its incumbent MP Peter Dutton, with Labor’s Fiona McNamara able to capitalise on his failed attempt to defect to the safer seat of McPherson.

Electorate-level news nuggets:

Robertson (Labor 0.1%): Belinda Neal has opted not to run as an independent in her seat of Robertson, contrary to widespread earlier speculation. AAP refers to “reports Ms Neal was angling for a spot in the NSW parliament”, assuming there are any left for Labor after the voters are done with them.

Dawson (Labor 2.4%): Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission has dismissed 17 allegations of misconduct relating to corporate credit card use against Labor’s candidate for Dawson, Whitsunday mayor Mike Brunker. The allegations have been the subject of newspaper advertising by the Liberal National Party candidate, George Christensen. Brunker reacted to the news by complaining of “a serial pest out there in the Whitsundays who instigated all this”.

There’s always one. In fact, there’s often several. Certainly this campaign’s had a few:

Chifley (Labor 20.7%): With less than a week left before the closure of nominations, the Liberals were forced to disendorse a candidate whose preselection marked an embarrassing failure for its candidate-vetting procedures. David Barker is a conservative Christian of marked eccentricity, and according to Imre Salusinszky of The Australian was “never grilled by a full preselection panel and was interviewed only by phone before being chosen”. Astoundingly given the party’s form with Husic, Barker wrote on his Facebook page: “We ran a big risk running a guy who holds these views against a Muslim candidate.” He was promptly replaced by grocery store owner Venus Priest.

Flinders (Liberal 8.2%): Initial Labor candidate Adrian Schonfelder was a casualty of the first week, after he said Tony Abbott’s conservative social positions were “influencing people to take their own lives”. Schonfelder apologised and soon after withdrew as candidate, saying a car accident on the Friday had left him “shocked and incapacitated”.

Parramatta (Labor 9.5%): Liberal candidate Charles Camenzuli has received unwelcome publicity in the past week after Channel Nine revealed he had been criticised by a Supreme Court judge. The court ordered Camenzuli to stop publishing criticisms of building industry rival Beechwood Homes on his website, which the judge deemed “motivated by personal spite”.