No Morgan poll this week – in a half-baked attempt to tie the headline to the post, here’s a link to an analysis by Possum posing the question, “is there a polling budget effect?&#148 (short answer: no). With that out of the way:

Greg Roberts of The Australian reports on the demise of a Queensland Coalition deal in which Barnaby Joyce was to move to the lower house and Liberal Senator Russell Trood was to maintain the existing balance in the Senate by joining the Nationals. The Liberals’ end of the deal was reportedly vetoed by federal Liberal president Alan Stockdale, prompting Joyce to angrily declare he would not be moving from the Senate. Trood’s factional ally, former state Liberal president Bob Carroll, says he would stake his life on Trood never agreeing to sit in the Nationals rather than the Liberal party room. This would seem to be a pretty big call, given that Trood’s alternative is to stay in the surely unwinnable fourth position on the Liberal National ticket.

• Fans of factional argybargy can unearth a motherlode of detail on Labor’s western Melbourne fiefdoms from the Victorian Ombudsman’s report into Brimbank City Council. Among the matters examined is the highly fraught preselection for last year’s Kororoit by-election, with the Ombudsman recommending an investigation into a possible breach of the Local Government Act by failed aspirant and former mayor Natalie Suleyman. It is alleged that a funding decision for a sports ground redevelopment was influenced by a desire to win the support of Keilor MP and Right powerbroker George Seitz, and that efforts were made to withdraw the funding when Seitz failed to come through.

Peter Kennedy of the ABC notes that preselection nominations for federal Liberal seats in WA close in less than three weeks, so those gunning for the removal of Pearce MP Judi Moylan and O’Connor MP Wilson Tuckey don’t have long to get their act together. Matt Brown tells Kennedy he hasn’t made up his mind whether to launch a second challenge against Dennis Jensen in Tangney, although jockeying in local branches suggests otherwise.

Bernard Keane of Crikey reports that Bronwyn Bishop’s hold on the larger branches in her electorate of Mackellar has “slipped”. One of the potential challengers, believe it or not, is former state Opposition Leader John Brogden. Another is a blast from an even more distant past – Jim Longley, who preceded Brogden as member for the local state seat of Pittwater.

• Western Australia’s minority Liberal-National government lost a vote in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, which I believe to be the first defeat for a government there in 17 years. At issue was a highly contentious bill to replace preferential voting at local government elections with first-past-the-post. However, the defeat resulted from the absence of four ministers from the chamber, and the bill was passed on a second attempt later in the day. The subject of the bill itself is obviously worth discussion, which I will attend to eventually. For whatever reason, the seemingly retrograde measure has the support of the Western Australian Local Government Association.

• A report by the Youth Electoral Study for the Australian Electoral Commission finds 20 per cent of youths aged 18 to 25 are not enrolled to vote, and “close to half” wouldn’t vote if it wasn’t compulsory. Those who went to private schools or were subjected to civics classes were somewhat more enthusiastic.

• You might recall some chat last month about a looming referendum on the introduction of a Hare-Clark style electoral system in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Well, that’s happening on Tuesday.

• Possum’s favourite word, “spiffy”, doesn’t do justice to his infographic electoral demographic displays.

• If it’s analysis of major party submissions for the federal redistribution in New South Wales you’re after, Ben Raue of The Tally Room is unequivocally your man.

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