Some happenings from the slow-motion train wreck that is the New South Wales state election campaign:
- Pauline Hanson has announced she will make yet another run for election, this time as a candidate for the New South Wales Legislative Council. This is her second tilt at this particular office, her first being in 2003 when she polled an insufficient 1.8%. Hanson has often been accused of running for office to access generous public funding arrangements for candidates with enough profile to clear a vote threshold, but the system in New South Wales was reformed late last year to prevent that happening (and in any case, she failed to clear the threshold in 2003). Antony Green offers a lowdown on Hanson’s electoral life and times.
- Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reported on Monday that Labor’s furniture-saving strategy involved abandoning any seat with a margin in single figures and focusing its energies on seats within the range of 10% to 25%. With new campaign finance laws limiting expenditure in any given electorate to $150,000, Labor reportedly plans to knock on the door of such limit in its western Sydney and Illawarra heartlands, while limiting the spend in its held seats of Blue Mountains and Heathcote to $20,000.
- The Greens have announced they will direct preferences to independent Gordon Bradbery in Wollongong. This is bad news for Labor member Noreen Hay, who was found by an Illawarra Mercury local poll last week to hold a narrow 53-47 lead over Bradbery, a local Wesley Uniting Church minister.
- Damon Cronshaw of the Newcastle Herald reports Lake Macquarie councillor Barry Johnston will run as an independent in Charlestown, where Labor member Matthew Morris will battle to defend his 14.6 per cent margin.
- Nominations close at noon today.
Meanwhile, I will continue to build on my election guide region by region and provide overviews in turn. The newest additions are from the Newcastle/Hunter region and its rural surrounds, home to a brace of seats in the low-teens margin range where the results are expected to be closest.