Last week’s Essential Research survey, which I neglected to cover outside of comments (Labor were down from 58-42 to 57-43), will be the last until January 18. If last year is any guide, Newspoll should return at the same time. In other developments:

• If the somewhat partisan Townsville Bulletin commentator Malcolm Weatherup is to be believed, aspirants for Labor preselection in Townsville-based Herbert are 2007 candidate George Colbran, former mayor and Mundingburra by-election veteran Tony Mooney (who apparently “will have to overcome the kryptonite of lingering local anger about his running non-Labor candidates on his Titanic ticket in the mayoral elections”), Townsville city councillor Jenny Hill and a James Cook University psychology student. The Prime Minister has apparently promised the decision will be made by the local party, although Weatherup claims he would have preferred to have installed Mooney. Peter Lindsay retained the seat in 2007 by 343 votes.

• Staying in Queensland, Toni McRae of the Fraser Coast Chronicle reports Fraser Coast councillor Belinda McNeven has indicated she may run for preselection in Bundaberg-based Hinkler, where Labor might have been a show in 2007 if their candidate hadn’t been such a dill.

Emily Sobey of the Ballarat Courier reports the Liberals have nominated Mark Banwell, who “works as an adviser to a financial publication in Melbourne”, as their candidate for the federal seat of Ballarat. Ballarat was Labor’s only gain at the 2001 election and has since been retained by Catherine King.

• The aforementioned Emily Sobey article also informs us the Greens have again preselected architect Marcus Ward, who also ran in 2006, as their lead candidate for the upper house region of Western Victoria at the November state election.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports Barry O’Farrell has sought to protect Right warlord David Clarke by bringing his state upper house preselection forward from March to February, suggesting he may not be as invulnerable than his factional might makes him appear.

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