The latest weekly Essential Research poll has Labor’s lead steady at 62-38. Also included are an interesting question on what Peter Costello should do (34 per cent quit, 46 per stay in various possible capacities), along with very detailed material on economic management. Not only but also:

• A comprehensively briefed Andrew Landeryou at VexNews explains the background to the Victorian Liberal Senate preselection vote to be held this Friday. Michael Ronaldson seems assured of retaining his top position, but Julian McGauran faces an uphill battle for third place against Ross Fox, a Peter Costello backer. The second place is reserved for the Nationals.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports on a NSW Liberal state executive ruling that new members in Bradfield will not be eligible to vote in the preselection to replace Brendan Nelson, to be held in nine months. Normally party rules require membership for six months for eligibility, but that would be an invitation to mass branch stacking in the current circumstances. Coorey also weighs in on recent shenanigans in the Perth seat of Tangney.

• Tasmanian LHMWU secretary David O’Byrne has confirmed he will seek preselection as a candidate for Franklin at next year’s state election. O’Byrne is a former state party president and brother of Bass MP Michelle O’Byrne. Among the Liberal candidates will be Vanessa Goodwin, who narrowly failed to defeat the now-departed Paula Wreidt at the 2006 election.

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