There’s been mixed news about a likely new state secretary of the Victorian Labor Party after Erik Locke quit in the wake of stacking rounds earlier this week.

The Age has quoted the ubiquitous “Labor figures” as naming secretary Stephen Newnham “as a frontrunner.” Yet talk to the bruvvers, and they all praise his missus, Labor Unity secretary and former staffer Fiona Richardson. She seems to be the best thing going for him. An oblique victory for Emily’s list?

It’s not online, but The Australian on Wednesday claimed that “right sources yesterday stopped short of confirming his appointment.” Newnham is a big dud, in fact, right and left sources say – and senior right figures are trying desperately to canvass other options. Other Labor Unity names being touted include Ann Black-Blandthorn and Garth Head – although in true Labor style they don’t want Newnham missus to find out.

Gender politics that would embarrass Andy Capp and interesting times in the Victorian ALP factional machine. What does Premier Steve Bracks think of Stephen Newnham’s possible appointment?