The Sunday News Corp papers have a national federal poll from Galaxy, although their websites are being a little coy about the fact. The poll shows two-party preferred at 50-50, which is all I can tell you about voting intention at this stage, because I’m not seeing any primary votes, sample sizes or field work dates. (UPDATE: Primary votes here – Coalition 42%, Labor 35% and Greens 11%). The report does relate that a follow-up question found Labor would lead 53-47 if Tony Abbott was still Liberal leader; that 38% believe Labor’s claim that a Coalition government would privatise Medicare, compared with 45% who don’t; and that 30% believe Malcolm Turnbull’s claim that Labor’s negative gearing reforms would drive down house prices, compared with 40% who don’t. More to follow on that at a later time.
In other news, today’s Fairfax papers have a report canvassing party insiders’ views on the state of the horse race:
• A Nationals source is quoted saying the party is “pretty nervous” about Rob Oakeshott’s challenge to Luke Hartsuyker in Cowper, and “fearful of losing Page”, where Labor’s Janelle Saffin seeks to recover the seat she lost to Kevin Hogan in 2013. However, its polling is also said to show Barnaby Joyce leading Tony Windsor in New England.
• Labor is said to be confident about the outer Sydney seat of Macarthur, but less so about other Sydney marginals including Lindsay and Banks.
• In Central Queensland, Capricornia and Flynn are rated as “likely Labor gains”, while Nationals MP George Christensen is “precarious” in Dawson.
• In Victoria, Corangamite is said to be the only Liberal-held seat Labor is now targeting, suggesting it is not hopeful about the Melbourne seats of Dunkley, Deakin and La Trobe. The Labor-versus-Greens contest in Batman is rated as lineball, but Labor is thought unlikely to lose its vulnerable Melbourne seats of Chisholm and Bruce to the Liberals. Liberal candidate Chris Jermyn’s poor performance is thought likely to save Labor from the Country Fire Authority backlash in McEwen, but the controversy is giving the Liberals an “outside chance” in Bendigo.
• David Crowe of The Australian reports Jacqui Lambie is “performing so strongly in Tasmania that major party observers expect her to win and perhaps gain enough votes to elect her running mate, Devonport mayor Steve Martin”. The report also suggests the Nick Xenophon Team could potentially win seats in Victoria and Western Australia, and suggests Derryn Hinch, Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm are stronger prospects than Pauline Hanson and Glenn Lazarus, without writing either off (unlike Ricky Muir and John Madigan, who don’t rate a mention).
• Sarah Elks of The Australian reports on Labor efforts to shore up Terri Butler, its member for the inner southern Brisbane seat of Griffith, citing Liberal National Party insiders who say “the ALP has been panicked into throwing money at a seat it is no danger of losing”.