News has just emerged that the two WA Cabinet positions formerly occupied by Geoff Gallop and Environment Minister Judy Edwards will be filled by Peel MP Norm Marlborough, of the long-spurned Old Right, and Mandurah MP David Templeman. Peter Kennedy of the ABC reports that the previous favourite, Wanneroo MP Dianne Guise, fell from favour after discussing her aspirations in public last week. He also says the election of two male candidates means the other big prize, preselection for Gallop’s old seat of Victoria Park, is certain to go to a woman when a formal decision is made this evening. Since the notion of Education Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich parachuting in from the upper house has dropped off the radar, this would appear to make it a lay-down misere for Helen Creed, the national president of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union.
UPDATE (1/2/06): Robert Taylor of The West Australian sees things very differently, reporting today that "because of the Left’s disintegration, neither the Missos’ Helen Creed nor Metalworkers’ Jackie Ormsby has much chance against the Right’s Ben Wyatt or New Right’s Simon Ward". The paper’s Graham Mason reports that the Metalworkers sub-faction did not participate in a meeting of the Left last night that endorsed Creed. This is the first the Poll Bludger has heard of Jackie Ormsby being in the mix – she is best remembered for her union-backed preselection win over Pilbara MP Larry Graham ahead of the 2001 election, and her subsequent defeat by him when he stood as an independent. She was also Labor’s candidate for the reasonably safe Liberal seat of Murdoch at last year’s election. Speaking on ABC TV last night, Peter Kennedy declared the race to be wide open between Creed, Wyatt and Ward, and tipped the by-election to be held on March 11. The ALP’s administrative committee will vote on the preselection this evening.