The latest weekly Essential Research survey has Labor’s lead up from 58-42 to 60-40. The survey also shows opinion is evenly divided on whether the Liberal and National parties should stay in coalition (39 per cent each way); that most believe Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have enough control of the Liberal Party; that perceptions of job security continue to steadily improve; and that 59 per cent believe Ricky Ponting should stay on as captain. Also included are some slightly obscure questions on the recent LNG deal with China.

Couple of other things:

Sandringham MP Murray Thompson has easily seen off the only preselection challenge against a Victorian state Liberal MP. According to Andrew Landeryou at VexNews, Thompson defeated “Baillieu faction hopeful” Margaret Fitzherbert by forty-five votes to seven.

• The Camden Advertiser reports that the seat-warming federal Liberal member for Macarthur, Pat Farmer, has his eyes on Labor-held state seats of Camden (held by Geoff Corrigan on a margin of 4.0 per cent) and Wollondilly (Phil Costa, 3.1 per cent). Locally powerful state Liberal MLC Charlie Lynn seems amused by this, suggesting Camden mayor Chris Patterson and Campbelltown councillor Jai Rowell have the respected nominations all but wrapped up, although the former says he is not sure he will run.

The Age reports that John Brumby says US-style primaries would “enliven the democratic process”, and are ”something the party should look at”.

• The latest Reuters Poll Trend aggregate has Labor’s lead at 57.2-42.8.

• Follow the Bradfield by-election action and contribute your thoughts at the progressively updated dedicated post.

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