Another post to keep the threads brief pending re-establishment of paged comments. Essential Research will as always reports its latest poll result today, but it’s an off week for Newspoll.
• Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports on yet another figure of the Howard years being mooted for a comeback: Jim Lloyd, who lost Robertson to Belinda Neal in 2007. The report says the Liberals have used automated phone polling locally to test the name recognition of Lloyd, current Labor member Deb O’Neill and the Liberals’ unsuccessful 2010 candidate, Darren Jameson. It also quotes Peter Reith’s post-election review criticising the party’s failure to encourage Lloyd to run last time, which “caused disaffection in a number of the branches”. Lloyd is now 57 and “has worked as a tour bus driver and for a local marine research firm” since his exit from parliament.
• Imre Salusinszky of The Australian (again) reports the NSW Liberals’ decision to deal promptly with preselections for 16 seats it currently holds is likely to bolster Mitchell MP Alex Hawke in a preselection challenge from his foes in the David Clarke Right sub-faction. The report speaks of “vigorous recruitment in Mitchell by Mr Hawke’s enemies, but the opening of nominations means members who have joined in the past nine months will not be eligible to participate”. It also says Philip Ruddock is unlikely to be challenged if he seeks another term in Berowra, despite long-term jockeying in the seat by the David Clarke Right faction. The likely candidate to succeed Ruddock is said to be political staffer Noel McCoy, but he has ruled out nominating against Ruddock.
• Usman Azad of the Kalgoorlie Miner reports the WA Liberals have “set a $500,000 target for a war chest to topple O’Connor MP Tony Crook, with most of the funds destined to build name recognition for his challenger Rick Wilson”. The party reportedly believes television advertising funded by Clive Palmer was responsibile for the Nationals’ win in 2010 at the expense of Liberal veteran Wilson Tuckey, and is determined not to be outdone again.