The third Newspoll in consecutive weeks is another disaster for the Coalition, showing Labor’s lead widening still further despite the government’s recent discomfort over boat arrivals. Labor is now ahead 59-41 on two-party preferred, compared with 58-42 at both last week’s unusual poll and last fortnight’s usual one. Kevin Rudd’s preferred prime minister rating is down two points to 65 per cent while Malcolm Turnbull’s is up one to 19 per cent. UPDATE: Graphic here: interestingly, 4 per cent has marched from satisfied with Kevin Rudd to dissatisfied, but Malcolm Turnbull’s disapproval rating is up six points as well. Labor leads 48 per cent to 34 per cent on the primary vote.

Elsewhere:

• Labor’s lead is steady at 58-42 according to the latest weekly Essential Research survey, which seems to be more closely resembling Newspoll than it used to. There are also various questions on the parties’ approaches to the global financial crisis and the rise in interest rates.

Sue Neales of The Mercury reports Matthew Groom, son of former Premier Ray Groom, has nominated for Liberal preselection in the state lower house division of Denison. Neales suggests the “corporate lawyer with Tasmanian state-owned wind power company Roaring 40s” is likely to win a spot on the ticket when the party finalises preselection on Monday, which it earlier deferred because party leaders were “concerned by a lack of high-profile talent” (UPDATE: Kevin Bonham clarifies the situation in comments: Elise Archer, Michael Hodgman and Matt Stevenson were preselected in March, and the remainder of the ticket is to be finalised on Monday). Others reportedly seeking preselection are veteran incumbent Michael Hodgman, who is 70 years old and battling ill health which recently forced him to relinquish the Shadow Attorney-General position; Jenny Branch, a Glenorchy alderman who polled strongly as an independent against Treasurer Michael Aird in his upper house seat of Derwent in April; and Elise Archer, a Hobart alderman. Another Hobart alderman, regular independent candidate Marti Zucco, has been mentioned as a starter, but appears to face powerful opposition in the Liberal organisation. The result in Denison at the 2006 election was Labor three, Liberal one and Greens one; Peter Tucker at Tasmanian Politics rates the Liberals a solid chance of taking a second seat, possibly at the expense of accident-prone Labor incumbent Graeme Sturges.

• The Queensland Greens have preselected their unsuccessful Senate candidate from 2007, Larissa Waters, to head their ticket at the next election. Waters prevailed in a three-way contest over Jenny Stirling and Libby Connors, party activists and frequent candidates respectively based in Townsville and Toowoomba.

• Republished courtesy of Peter Brent at Mumble, Malcolm Mackerras in the Canberra Times lambasts Peter Dutton and his supporters over his reluctance to stand and fight in Dickson, and confidently predicts he will now not only contest the seat but win it.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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