Morgan’s latest fortnightly face-to-face poll shows a one point narrowing in the two-party gap from 60-40 to 59.5-40.5. Labor is down one point on the primary vote to 50.5 per cent while the Coalition is up one to 36 per cent. Elsewhere:

• Not sure how much of this is news, but there’s a lot of good stuff on the Western Australian Electoral Commission site: veteran academic Harry Phillips’ 149-page Electoral Law in the State of Western Australia: An Overview; Isla Macphail’s 388-page Highest Privilege
and Bounden Duty: A Study of Western Australian Parliamentary Elections 1829–1901
; and comprehensive survey data on various aspects of the September state election.

• AAP reports that Jennifer Huppert, a lawyer with the firm Maddocks and “long-time Labor moderate”, has been “unanimously endorsed” by Labor’s national executive to replace Evan Thornley in the Victorian upper house region of South Metropolitan. A “senior Labor source” quoted in the report says “Ms Huppert was the Premier’s pick, chosen from four women candidates selected by Federal MP Michael Danby and state Treasurer John Lenders”. The Herald Sun earlier reported that “a list of six names – four women and two men – had been submitted to the Labor Party’s national executive”, with the Left-aligned Laura Smyth named as frontrunner.

Rick Wallace of The Australian reports that a looming split in the Right of the Victorian ALP could produce “another round of bloody winner-takes-all preselections replete with branch-stacking, brawls and backstabbing”. The next Victorian opinion poll will be interesting to observe, given the stresses the present heatwave has placed on Melbourne’s infrastructure.

• Malcolm Mackerras muses on the recent history of by-elections and upper house vacancies in the Canberra Times.

Annual financial disclosure returns for 2007-08 can be viewed at the Australian Electoral Commission site (UPDATE: … from Monday – thanks to Ruawake for pointing that out).

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