No Morgan poll this week. There is the following however:
• ReachTel continues to pump out the Queensland state automated phone polls. Perhaps emboldened by a recent effort pointing to a 27 per cent anti-Labor swing in Stretton, they have this week targeted two safe Labor seats and elicited similarly dramatic results. A survey of 384 respondents in the seat of Ipswich is fully as bad for Labor as the Stretton poll, showing a 26 per cent swing and a win for LNP candidate Ian Berry over Labor incumbent Rachel Nolan by a margin of 9.4 per cent. In the Brisbane seat of Bundamba, a poll of 371 respondents found a 20 per cent swing which would all but eradicate Labor member Jo-Ann Miller’s margin. Katter’s Australian Party was on double figures in both seats. Last week ReachTel published a poll of 366 respondents in Ferny Grove which showed a 15 per cent swing, easily enough to account for Labor member Geoff Wilson’s margin of 4.3 per cent. It should be noted however that ReachTel is a new outfit using a methodology which is yet to prove its worth, and all the swings mentioned are well over the 13 per cent indicated by recent Newspoll and Galaxy polling.
• John Ferguson of The Australian reports polling by the Victorian Liberal Party shows it poised to win not only the Labor-held marginals of Deakin, Corangamite and La Trobe, but also recording primary votes of 50 per cent and 48 per cent in relatively safe Bruce and Chisholm. Particularly difficult to believe is a funding from Bruce that “Julia Gillard had a minus 22 per cent favourability rating with Mr Abbott at plus 2 per cent”, which compares with Nielsen’s recent Victorian results of minus 13 and minus 25. Ferguson’s report further says that former members Phil Barresi (voted out in 2007 and again unsuccessful in 2010) and Jason Wood (voted out in 2010) are considering comebacks in Deakin and La Trobe. Local councillor Tim Smith is another possible starter in Deakin, and Ernst & Young partner John Nguyen “would be backed by many local members” in Chisholm. John Roskam of the Institute of Public Affairs and lawyer John Pesutto are mentioned as being likely preselection aspirants, though it is unclear in relation to which seats.
• Michael McKenna of The Australian reports “lobbyist and former 2007 Liberal candidate for the seat of Brisbane Ted O’Brien and Sunshine Coast businesswoman Peta Simpson” will join Mal Brough in the LNP preselection contest for Peter Slipper’s seat of Fisher, with Brough “expected to easily win”. In the period between his appearance at a local function with Kevin Rudd and his defection from the party, the LNP state executive was considering having Slipper deposed at a snap December 19 preselection, which would have prevented the state election campaign clashing with any move by him to pursue internal appeals processes. However, this failed to take into account that many of Brough’s local branch “recruits” (according to The Australian, “since returning to the party in December last year, Brough has doubled the membership in the Fisher LNP branch to more than 1000”) would have been unable to participate due to the rule requiring 12 months’ membership. According to The Australian, it was “suspected that Slipper may have orchestrated the Rudd visit to entrap the LNP into calling an early preselection to defeat Brough”. Following Slipper’s defection, it is now clear the preselection will now be held after the state election.
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