The latest Morgan face-to-face poll gives Labor its best result since April: a 61-39 two-party lead, up from 58-42 last week. Labor is up three points on the primary vote to 50.5 per cent, the Coalition down one to 33.5 per cent, the Greens steady on 9.5 per cent and “others” back down to 4.5 per cent after a spike to 6 per cent last week. Some quick ones while I’m away:

• The New South Wales ALP has taken a possibly unprecedented move in banning state MPs from seeking federal preselection. Nathan Rees claims this is to prevent unnecessary by-elections – a believable motive for the state government – but is also being interpreted as a move to “stop state MP’s tarnishing the Rudd government”. Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports “rumours that the state ministers Joe Tripodi and Paul Lynch have been eyeing off the western suburbs seat of Fowler, while the former police minister Matt Brown has been linked with Gilmore”.

Phillip Coorey of the Sydney Morning Herald reports a “growing sentiment” in the New South Wales Labor Party that Belinda Neal should retain preselection for Robertson, due to sympathy over her husband’s misbehaviour together with the fact that she has “worked hard” and “kept her head down” since the Iguana’s incident.

Andrew Landeryou of VexNews reports Victorian Liberal chatter that “controversial Baillieu faction honcho” Bruce Atkinson faces a preselection threat in his Eastern Metropolitan upper house region. This threatens to boil over into an “open slather” that could equally threaten Atkinson’s first-term Eastern Metropolitan colleague Jan Kronberg.

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