Gotta get down on Friday
The lack of a Roy Morgan federal poll result has reduced me to flogging the Rebecca Black dead horse in search of headline. There is this, I suppose:
• A very modest Roy Morgan phone poll of 324 respondents, with a margin of error approaching 5.5%, contradicts the January-March Newspoll result in finding the WA Liberals with a landslide 62.5-37.5 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 53.5% for the Liberals, 3.5% for the Nationals, 29.5% for Labor and 6% for the Greens. Colin Barnett’s approval and disapproval ratings of 54% and 33.5% compare with Newspoll’s 51% and 33%, while Mark McGowan’s 36.5% and 18.5% compare with 43% and 17%. A bigger difference is recorded on preferred premier: 54-26.5 in Barnett’s favour, compared with 43-30.
• The Australian reported this week that Queensland election exit polling conducted for a private client by Liberal pollsters Crosby Textor gave Kevin Rudd ratings of 38% approval and 35% disapproval, Julia Gillard 20% approval and 60% disapproval, and Tony Abbott 30% approval and 41% disapproval.
Preselection activity remains at a high pitch:
• Clive Palmer’s prospects in his headline-grabbing pitch for LNP preselection in Wayne Swan’s seat of Lilley are not being rated highly. Andrew Fraser of The Australian reports that 2010 candidate Rod McGarvie, “a former soldier who now works with disabled people”, is “well entrenched among the party’s branches”. There is provision in the party constitution for a centralised preselection to overrule local branches, but Tony Abbott’s pointed call for a “grassroots” candidate who would “do the hard yards, knocking on doors, going to shopping centres and talking to local newspapers” suggests it is unlikely to be invoked.
• The Greens have confirmed winemaker and University of Tasmania economist Peter Whish-Wilson will fill the Senate vacancy created by the retirement of Bob Brown.
• The WA Parliament has officially confirmed Dean Smith to fill the casual vacancy created by the death of Liberal Senator Judith Adams. Debbie Guest of The Australian reports Smith was “a policy adviser to premier Richard Court and a senior adviser to Mr Howard during the 1998 election campaign”, as well as being the state party’s Treasurer and a principal of lobbying firm Smith & Duda Consulting.
• The South Australian Liberals have chosen their Senate ticket, with incumbents Cory Bernardi and Simon Birmingham confirmed in the top two positions. In third place is Anne Ruston, entrepreneur behind Ruston’s Roses, a Riverland wholesale flower-growing concern and tourism attraction. Whereas Coalition number three candidates in other states are looking well placed on present indications, the contest in South Australia will be complicated by Nick Xenophon’s bid for re-election.
• The Age further reports that John Pesutto, a lawyer and Victorian government adviser said by John Ferguson of The Australian to be key figure in the Baillieu faction (and who ran unsuccessfully for preselection in Kooyong before the 2010 election), is considered likely to get the nod in Deakin. It was earlier suggested that Phil Barresi, who held the seat from 1996 until his defeat in 2007 and failed to win it back in 2010, might be interested in a comeback, and also that local councillor Tim Smith was interested.
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