UPDATE: The Courier-Mail reports Galaxy’s poll of 800 respondents has Campbell Newman with a clear primary vote lead of 52 per cent to 45 per cent.

UPDATE 2: A Morgan phone poll of a grand total of 202 respondents, conducted last night and the night before, has the LNP leading 51 per cent to 28 per cent on the primary vote and 62-38 on two-party preferred, but such is the sample size that I don’t know why they bothered. Follow the link for personal ratings for the two leaders, if you’re really that interested.

The results of ReachTEL’s final automated phone poll of Ashgrove for the campaign, conducted last night from a sample of 931, have just been announced on Spencer Howson’s program on the ABC. It overturns last week’s result in favour of Labor’s Kate Jones and has Campbell Newman with a 54.2.-45.8 lead on two-party preferred, based on the preference distribution from the 2009 election. The primary votes were 49.0 per cent for the LNP, 40.8 per cent for Labor and 7.5 per cent for the Greens. Full details here. Galaxy was also in the field in Ashgrove last night and will presumably report this evening.

Other news:

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Nanango (Independent 2.9% versus LNP): The outgoing independent member, Dorothy Pratt, has endorsed independent candidate John Dalton, described by Antony Green’s election guide as “spokesman and secretary for the Kingaroy Concerned Citizens Group (KCCG) and Assistant School Principal at the St Mary’s Catholic College in Kingaroy, where he has worked for 22 years”. Sarah Elks of The Australian reports the LNP is expressing confidence that its candidate Deb Frecklington will win the seat in the face of the challenge from former test cricketer Carl Rackemann, running for Katter’s Australian Party. Bob Katter is sounding somewhat more modest about his party’s chances than he was in the lead-up to the campaign, countenancing the possibility of it failing to win any seats. Katter says the legal challenge against ballot papers identifying the party merely as “The Australian Party” cost it “one-fifth to one-seventh of all of our money for fighting”, although it presumably went into that obviously doomed effort with its eyes open.

Ashgrove (Labor 7.1%): The Australian reports Labor is accusing the LNP of colluding with sand mining firm Sibelco in a campaign targeting Ashgrove residents over government moves to phase out its operations on North Stradbroke Island. Labor is querying how Sibelco has been able to obtain voters’ names and addresses, which appears to suggest access to a copy of the electoral roll – something which is only provided to candidates, parties, MPs and government authorities.

Nicklin (Independent 16.3% versus LNP): Katter’s Australian Party candidate Matthew Smith has claimed the local LNP branch manager approached him with an offer to print his how-to-vote cards if he directed preferences to his party’s candidate, former Wallabies coach John Connolly. Owen Jacques of the Sunshine Coast Daily also reports that independent member Peter Wellington has accused a local political opponent, Kathy Marshall, of seeking to discredit him with a concocted letter from Neil Turner, whom Wellington unseated as National Party member for the seat in 1998. The letter accuses Wellington of failing to report to parliament on a government-funded trip to North America in 1999, and was said to have been provided to Marshall three days before Turner’s death on July 4 last year. Marshall has signed a statutory declaration vouching for the letter’s authenticity.

Coomera (LNP 1.9%): Greg Stoltz of the Courier-Mail reports that residents near the property of LNP member Michael Crandon are “furious” at his move to lease part of his Kingsholme property to Telstra to erect a mobile phone tower, which “will earn him hundreds of thousands of dollars”. The property is located in the neighbouring electorate of Albert. This has evidently been in the works for over three years, but the tower is due to be erected within weeks, and residents are seeking to express their ire by whipping up controversy days out from the election.

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

Liz
North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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