Campaign updates

Some recent embellishments to the Western Australian election guide:

Alfred Cove (Independent 8.2% vs LIB): Voters in this electorate are being bombarded with advertising across all media from a bewildering range of interested parties. Radio ads for independent challenger Katherine Jackson tell listeners not to believe advertisements and media reports that she has cut a preference deal with Liberal candidate Graham Kierath. Workers compensation lawyer Paul O’Halloran appears to think otherwise, and has gone to the trouble of running his own radio ads boosting independent incumbent Janet Woollard (a "nice lady") and exhorting Jackson supporters to ignore her how-to-vote card and put Kierath last (she is in fact running a split ticket; those following the pro-Labor ticket are directed to put Woollard ahead of Kierath). Then there’s Graham Kierath’s blog, a project he has tackled with admirable enthusiasm.

Perth (Liberal 10.5%): The Poll Bludger hears that the Liberals are putting an unusual amount of resources into their campaign here, and that the Christian Democratic Party are spending a lot of money targeting the government’s gay law reforms. The electorate is home to much of Perth’s gay community, which counts Labor member John Hyde among its number.

Balcatta (Labor 10.9%): While this new seat is all but certain to remain in the Labor fold, Liberals are keen to note that Labor does not have the advantage of a sitting member, and that the federal seat of Stirling was won with swings of 6 to 8 per cent in the booths located in this electorate. In the more affluent part of the electorate covered by the state seat of Carine, two large booths swung to Labor.

Swan Hills (Labor 0.3%): Sensing that a triumphant Jaye Radisich might emerge as Labor’s electoral heroine, the party made her one of only three speakers at Labor’s belated campaign "launch" on Sunday, along with Geoff Gallop and Kim Beazley.

Cottesloe (Liberal 12.3%): Colin Barnett handed his opponents a gift last Wednesday when he told a candidates forum for his electorate of Cottesloe that he would place a five-storey limit on coastal high-rise, but only in his own electorate.

Collie-Wellington (Labor 2.6%); Murray (Labor 0.7%): Robert Wainwright of the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday that Labor expects to hold Collie-Wellington but "struggle" in neighbouring Murray.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.