Hot from the Fin:
Labor’s shock decision to recruit Peter Beattie as its candidate for the federal Queensland electorate of Forde appears to have backfired spectacularly, with the Coalition on track to win the seat in a landslide.
Forde is one of eight marginal seats polled by JWS Research, the results of which will be published exclusively in Saturday’s AFR Weekend.
The poll of four Labor marginal seats and four Coalition marginal seats around the country was conducted using the names of the respective major party candidates in each seat, ensuring maximum accuracy.
The poll shows that in Forde, in south-east Queensland, the incumbent Liberal-National Party Member Bert van Manen is thrashing the former Queensland premier on a two-party preferred basis by 60 per cent to 40 per cent.
This 10-percentage point lead represents a two-party swing of 8.4 per cent to the Coalition in Forde since the 2010 election.
Mr van Manen is beating Mr Beattie on the primary vote by 54 per cent to 33 per cent, while the Greens are on 4 per cent and 9 per cent are undecided.
The primary vote swing to Mr van Manen since the 2010 election is 9.9 per cent.
Mr Rudd announced Mr Beattie would stand in the first week of the campaign, pushing aside Labor’s preselected candidate Des Hardman.
Billed as a coup by Labor, it was hoped in the ALP that Mr Beattie would not only win Forde but drive up Labor’s vote across Queensland, where it needs to pick up at least six seats from the Coalition to have any chance of a victory on September 7.
But the eleventh-hour substitution may achieve the opposite.
The polls shows that Mr van Manen has a 49 per cent approval rating in Forde and a 19 per cent disapproval rating, giving him a net favourability rating of 30 per cent.
By contrast, Mr Beattie has a 35 per cent approval rating and a 51 per cent disapproval rating, giving him a net favourability rating of minus 16 per cent.
Similarly, in Forde, Mr Rudd has a net favourability rating of minus 18 per cent whereas Tony Abbott’s net favourability rating is just minus 1 per cent.
More than half of the Forde respondents, 51 per cent, believe Mr van Manen deserved re-election whereas only 34 per cent believe Mr Beattie deserves to be elected.
The poll was conducted on Thursday night. In all, the views of 4739 people were sampled across eight seats, including 568 voters in Forde.
The margin of error is 4.2 per cent.
Exclusive polling of eight marginal seats across NSW, Victoria and Queensland, out Saturday in AFR Weekend.