James J relates the latest fortnightly Newspoll has the Coalition’s lead at a relatively modest 54-46, compared with 56-44 a fortnight ago, from primary votes of 33% for Labor (up five), 45% for the Coalition (down one) and 10% for the Greens (down one). The spike in the “others” vote in the previous poll has not been repeated. On personal ratings, Julia Gillard is steady on approval at 29% and down three on disapproval to 59%, while Tony Abbott is up two on approval to 32% and down five on disapproval to 56%. Tony Abbott’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 40-36 to 38-36.
Today’s Essential Research had the Coalition two-party lead up from 55-45 to 56-44, although nothing had changed on the primary vote: 33% for Labor, 49% for the Coalition and 10% for the Greens. Further questions related to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, party with the better policies for various groups of disadvantaged people (Labor comfortably ahead in each case), and the Olympic Games (among other things, 58% think $39 million of government spending per gold medal too much).
• The Australian reports that James McGrath, having failed in his bid to take on Mal Brough for the LNP preselection in Fisher, will now either return to his original plan and contest the neighbouring seat of Fairfax, or instead try for Senate preselection. The latter might transpire if Barnaby Joyce’s position becomes available, as it will if he succeeds in easing out Bruce Scott in Maranoa. However, both plans face obstacles: McGrath told preselectors in Fisher he would not use Fairfax as a fall-back option, and former Nationals expect that a Senate vacancy would be filled by one of their own.
• Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports that a fast-track preselection process will secure Peter Garrett’s endorsement in Kingsford Smith. Hypothetical rivals included local resident Bob Carr, whose old state seat of Maroubra was located wholly within the electorate, and Ben Keneally, mayoral candidate for Botany and husband of the former Premier. The report also says Labor’s candidates for the Liberal marginals of Macquarie and Gilmore are likely to be Susan Templeman and Neil Riley.
• In an interview with local blog the Warragul Citizen, Russell Broadbent, the Liberal member for McMillan, says a mooted challenge to his preselection by conservative opponents failed to materialise as it had no prospect of success.
• The Sunshine Coast Daily reports Bill Gissane, a partner with the workplace health and safety consultancy the Enterprise Development Network, will be Labor’s candidate against Mal Brough in Fisher.
UDPATE: Roy Morgan‘s latest face-to-face result, from the previous two weekends of polling, is little changed on the previous fortnight: Labor and the Coalition both up half a point on the primary vote to 32% and 43.5%, with the Greens down half a point to 11.5%. The Coalition’s lead is 56-44 on respondent allocated preferences, down from 57-43, and 53.5-46.5 with preferences allocated as per the last election result, down from 54-46.