Roy Morgan has issued a face-to-face poll conducted over the last two weekends, which joins Newspoll in showing the government returning to the level of ascendancy to which it had earlier been accustomed. Labor’s two-party lead is up from 56.5-43.5 to 58-42, with their primary vote up 3.5 per cent to 48 per cent, the Coalition’s down 0.5 per cent to 36.5 per cent and the Greens down 2.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent. The sample of 1030 is unusually low for a fortnightly Morgan poll, no doubt because one of the two weekends was over Easter. Presumably the results are dominated by surveying from the week before.
• Labor’s national executive will tonight make an official decision on the make-up of the Tasmanian Senate ticket. However, the deal was reportedly sealed by a factional arrangement reached last night after the Prime Minister insisted that “pugilist” Electrical Trades Union state secretary Kevin Harkins, who had the backing of the state’s Left, be dumped in favour of Lisa Singh, who lost her Denison seat at the recent state election. VexNews reports the federal Left’s compliance was achieved after its caucus split 5-4, with “Mark Butler and Anthony Albanese defeating forces aligned with Kim Carr”. The ticket order will be changed from Helen Polley, Kevin Harkins and AMWU official Anne Urquhart, as chosen by the state party, to Polley, Urquhart and Singh.
• Kay Hull has announced she will not contest the next election after 12 years as Nationals member for Riverina. This opens the way for a three-cornered contest which would have the Nationals fearing another loss to the Liberals. A commenter relates that contestants for Nationals preselection are likely to include Allan Brown, a Wagga City councillor, and Joe Dennis, a Borambola farmer and adviser to Hull. Three Wagga councillors are named as possible Liberal aspirants: Clint Uden, Garry Hiscock and Wayne Geale. Wagga-based Public Service Association official Glenn Elliott-Rudder was said to be the likely Labor candidate, but he’s told the ABC he isn’t interested.
• The Western Weekender reports Penrith councillor Ben Goldfinch and businessman Stuart Ayres will contest Liberal preselection for the state seat of Penrith this weekend, while Penrith councillor Tanya Davies and former Weekender editor Bernard Bratusa will contest for Mulgoa. A rumour published in Crikey in February had it Goldfinch was likely to get the nod in Penrith owing to backing from Right heavies David Clarke and Marie Ficarra. Goldfinch and Bratusa have both been mentioned as possible federal candidates for Lindsay, as has Senator Marise Payne.
• The Liberals look to have done well in endorsing Cameron Caine, a policeman from bushfire-ravaged Kinglake, to succeed Fran Bailey as their candidate for super-marginal McEwen.
• AAP reports former soldier Rod McGarvie, “who has worked for a non-government translation and linguistic agency in Uganda and Tanzania since 2003”, will run against Wayne Swan for the Liberal National Party in Lilley.
• Antony Green explains why he expects a double dissolution in August or September.