Morgan face-to-face: 57.5-42.5 to Coalition
More opinion poll carnage for Labor, this time from Morgan’s face-to-face survey of 951 lucky respondents last weekend. The headline two-party figure is 57.5-42.5, a return to the worst lows of last year. As was the case on those occasions, Labor’s deteriorating primary vote position has been accompanied by a further sag in their already weak share of minor party preferences, which as I have said many times is not what I expect to happen at the election – and indeed, it was again directly contradicted this week by Nielsen, whose respondent-allocated preference result of 56-44 suggested Labor’s preference share was about 70% compared with the 45% currently suggested by Morgan. Using the previous-election method of distributing preferences, Morgan offers a much milder figure of 53.5-46.5. Accounting for the consistent Labor lean in Morgan’s face-to-face polling, the primary vote figures are consistent with the impression from Newspoll and Nielsen: Labor on 32%, the Coalition on 44.5% and the Greens on 13%.
Plentiful preselection action:
• Barnaby Joyce has confirmed he will seek preselection for Bruce Scott’s outback Queensland seat of Maranoa, presumably in pursuit of the party leadership and deputy prime ministership. Scott, who is 69, is yet to make his intentions clear. The party’s current leader, Warren Truss, tells The Australian he will back Scott in any contest between the two, on the basis that “members are entitled to the loyalty of their leader”.
• Unions Tasmania state secretary Kevin Harkins has indicated he is still interested in a Labor parliamentary berth, after being dumped as candidate for Franklin in 2007 and frozen out for Senate preselection in 2010. The guiding hand on each occasion was Kevin Rudd, whose identification of Harkins as a totem of union ratbaggery never entirely added up. A fortnight ago, The Australian reported Rudd had been heard admitting he had confused Harkins with Kevin Reynolds, Western Australian CFMEU colossus and truly the “well-known pugilist” of Rudd’s description. Rudd insisted it was “incorrect to claim that his decision to not support Mr Harkins in 2010 was based on any confusion with Kevin Reynolds”, but Australian Mines and Metals Association chief executive Steve Knott has told The Australian: “Everyone in the IR community and up in Canberra knew that Rudd had mixed up the two Kevins. The problem for Harkins and his political ambitions was Rudd hating to be wrong.” It is now anticipated that Harkins will seek to fill the Senate vacancy to be created at the next election by the retirement of Nick Sherry. Matthew Denholm of The Australian reports a Left-backed push by Harkins would “force sitting Right faction senator Catryna Bilyk to the highly vulnerable No 3 position, potentially sparking a factional brawl”.
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Categories: Federal Politics 2010-