Judgement reserved

You know the Coalition has had a bad day when The West Australian’s front page devotes equal space to criticising both parties. Under the heading "double trouble", the left half of the page covers what most would have regarded as the major story on election eve, the universal thumbs-down given to the Coalition’s costings announcement, while the right is an exposé of a mere dummy candidate put up by Labor in Riverton. Admittedly, the latter seems like an unusually clumsy piece of work on Labor’s part. The West reports that independent candidate Choy Chan Ma thought that a form she was asked to sign at Labor member Tony McRae’s office related to her work as a voluntary interpreter, and was unpleasantly surprised to find herself running for parliament. Ma is a Chinese Malay in an electorate "where Malays and Indians account for 30 per cent of the population".

Also in The West are a number of reports on turmoil afflicting the conservative side of politics in the south-west. A spray delivered by Liberal candidate Graham Jacobs against the Coalition hierarchy is reported in vague terms, with Jacobs criticising "policy on the run" from Colin Barnett which he blames on "underhanded tactics" by the National Party, from whom he is attempting to win the seat. It is also reported that Wilson Tuckey, federal Liberal member for O’Connor, got federal government permission to spend "several thousand taxpayer dollars" on letters promoting Jacobs and his Liberal colleagues in Geraldton and Stirling at the expense of the Nationals.

However, those of us waiting with bated breath to see which side wins The West’s reluctant editorial endorsement will apparently have to wait until tomorrow.

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.