The latest Morgan face-to-face poll, combining surveys conducted over the previous two weekends, shows Labor with a two-party preferred lead of 51.5-48.5 when using the more reliable method of distributing minor party preferences according to the results of the previous election. However, on the respondent-allocated preferences measure used by Morgan as their headline, the result is 50-50. Certainly Labor’s position is found to have deteriorated since the previous poll a fortnight ago, their primary vote down 1.5 per cent to 39 per cent and the Coalition’s up by the same amount to 43 per cent, with the Greens up half a point to 12.5 per cent. This tends to support Newspoll’s finding that Labor’s position had weakened further in the weeks before praliament resumed.

Other news:

Dennis Atkins of the Courier-Mail reports the internal inquiry into Labor’s 2010 election fiasco being conducted by Bob Carr, Steve Bracks and John Faulkner “could open up selection of election candidates to the public”, American primaries style. This has always struck me as being the last bad solution for much of what ails the party, in view of the terminal membership decline of major political parties generally.

• The AEC published annual political donation disclosures for 2009-10 last week. The damage has been extensively surveyed by Crikey’s Bernard Keane (here, here and here), Andrew Crook (here and here) and Stephen Mayne (here).

• The Western Australian government has announced it will introduce legislation for fixed terms next terms. The date will likely be set for March, with the next election due in 2013, although past talk from the government has suggested allowing some flexibility to ensure state elections do not clash with other elections or similarly disruptive events.

• Election dates are not fixed in New Zealand, but Prime Minister John Key has nonetheless done his nation the service of alerting it long ahead of time that the election due for this year will be held on November 26.

Carolyn Tucker of the Caloundra Journal reports former Wallabies head coach John Connolly has confirmed he will seek Liberal National Party state preselection for the Sunshine Coast hinterland seat of Nicklin, which independent Peter Wellington has held securely since 1998. Their candidate from the last two elections, Steve Morrison, has also nominated.

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