The Courier-Mail yesterday published a poll of the all-important electorate of Ashgrove from a thumping sample of 800, which confirms the findings of Thursday’s ReachTel poll: that the two-party result is within the margin of error and Campbell Newman is in very serious danger of falling short. Indeed, the published figure has Jones in the lead with 51.5 per cent of the two-party vote, with both major candidates on 45 per cent and the Greens on 8 per cent. The two-party figure has been obtained using the preference splits from 2009, with the Greens vote going 50 per cent to Labor, 15 per cent to the LNP and 35 per cent exhausting, and the negligible “others” vote neatly divided 25 per cent to each party with 50 per cent exhausting. Of course, whether this pattern will be precisely replicated under the highly unusual circumstances of the looming election remains an open question. Galaxy has found 63 per cent of voters intending to allocate preferences, but since nine in 10 of these respondents are supporters of the major parties, this doesn’t tell us very much. The poll also provides a huge boost for Jones in finding that Labor supporters were a lot more likely than LNP supporters to nominate “liking for party/candidate” as the reason for their vote choice (70 per cent against 44 per cent), and correspondingly less likely to nominate hostility to the opposing party (27 per cent against 55 per cent).

• Katter’s Australian Party has predictably failed in its bid to have its full name listed on ballot papers after it was embarrassed to learn electoral rules provided for the use of its registered abbreviation, which is merely “The Australian Party”. So weak was its case that it has been suggested the court challenge was merely being used as an awareness-raising exercise. In related news, Dennis Atkins of the Courier-Mail turns out to be a hip-hop enthusiast.

• Yet more candidate trouble for the LNP on the Gold Coast, it having emergeed that Albert candidate Mark Boothman was the administrator of a website which “displayed soft porn”. The website was in fact a forum for motoring enthusiasts, and boys being boys, some participants had uploaded “adult content” to it. This follows the party’s loss of two candidates in the nearby seat of Broadwater, one over a drink driving charge and the other over his attendance at a swingers party function. For what it’s worth, my view is that parties in general, and the Queensland LNP in particular, have become a little trigger happy in dispensing with candidates over minor indiscretions. In this case it was not an option, as nominations have closed and ballot papers have been printed. Perhaps for this reason, Campbell Newman is standing behind a “terrific young bloke” and “family man”.

• Police are investigating the firing of a “large-calibre bullet” through the office window of Michael Crandon, the LNP member for the northern Gold Coast seat of Coomera.

• The Greens have launched their campaign with a promise to reinstate the upper house, an understandable objective given the near certainty that they will yet again fail to win any seats (their traditionally strongest seats are occupied by the two most senior figures in the government: Anna Bligh’s seat of South Brisbane and Andrew Fraser’s seat of Mount Coot-tha) Though personally, I would have thought a system of proportional representation in the existing single chamber both an easier sell (or at least, a less difficult one) and more in their interests in any case.

• Writing in The Australian, Peter Beattie predicts:

Bob Katter’s Australian Party will only win two to three seats at best … if Newman loses Ashgrove and the LNP wins government, Lawrence Springborg will be premier with Tim Nicholls as his deputy. Depending on who wins their seat, the opposition leader will be either Andrew Fraser or Cameron Dick. A Labor victory will see Jeff Seeney fall on his sword and Tim Nicholls as opposition leader.

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