Joyce hints at lower House move

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Federal Labor MPs are in denial mode, they cannot, or will not, read the writing on the wall

Joyce hints at Lower House move

Updated March 27, 2012 08:06:47

National Party Senate leader Barnaby Joyce says the time is right for him to try to move to the Lower House.

Senator Joyce told Lateline last night that the move would be a natural progression at this point in his career.

His comments came as a poll released this morning confirmed that Labor’s electoral problems are not confined to Senator Joyce’s home state of Queensland.

The latest Newspoll, published in today’s Australian newspaper, says the Coalition’s lead after preferences has widened to 14 percentage points, while Labor’s primary vote has slipped below 30 per cent again.

But if Senator Joyce wants to move to the House of Representatives he may face a fight with his own party before he gets to take on the LNP.

Senator Joyce lives in St George, in the Queensland seat of Maranoa, which has been held by the LNP’s Bruce Scott for 22 years.

Senator Joyce had considered making a run for New England in northern New South Wales, where he grew up, which is held by the independent Tony Windsor.

But now he says he wants to stay in Queensland and run for Maranoa.

“Your aspiration has to be to try and get to the Lower House to match up to the people who you oppose,” he told Lateline last night.

Pre-selection for the seat has not opened but Senator Joyce said: “I’ll leave that to the wonderful people who have their right at an electorate council to make their vote – and they will make their vote.”

Some in the Coalition warn a pre-selection battle would be tough if it gets that far, as Mr Scott has a strong network of branch members.

In the wake of Labor’s wipe-out in the weekend’s Queensland state election, today’s Newspoll shows the Coalition extending its lead over the ALP federally.

The Coalition is on 57 per cent with the ALP on 43 per cent in the two-party preferred standings.

Federal Labor’s primary vote has fallen three points to 28 per cent, its lowest point since last September.

The Coalition’s primary vote is up four points to 47 per cent.

The Greens’ primary vote stands at 11 per cent.

However, satisfaction with Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s performance is up three points.

Topics:government-and-politics, states-and-territories, federal-government, st-george-4487, australia, qld, nsw

First posted March 27, 2012 06:30:13

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