Siege of Troy

The hapless Western Australian Liberals have a new leader after incumbent Paul Omodei stepped aside at today’s party room meeting. His successor is Vasse MP Troy Buswell (right), who just five days ago told the media he needed “more experience in the House and more time to develop before I could be considered for that position”. This was prompted by a now celebrated display of tired and emotional behaviour in parliament last October, which culminated in him pulling on the bra strap of a Labor staffer in the Speaker’s office. News of this episode came to light courtesy of a letter to the Albany Advertiser by Paul Omodei’s electorate officer Ron Scott, whom Omodei has refused to dismiss. Carine MP Katie Hodson-Thomas (who today made a surprise announcement she would retire at the coming election) subsequently complained of being subjected to “inappropriate” remarks from Buswell in the presence of male colleagues, with other unnamed Liberals suggesting he had a “reputation” for such behaviour.

These developments appeared to put an end to months of leadership jockeying by Buswell, who by all accounts had the numbers to dislodge Omodei (left) following a series of bad opinion polls and a disastrous performance in last February’s Peel by-election. The West Australian responded with an editorial on Monday arguing that the party “must persuade Troy Buswell that while his behaviour in Parliament last October was juvenile, stupid and not befitting of a member of Parliament, it was not so reprehensible that he need rule himself out of leadership contention” – a line which evidently echoed the feeling in the party room. The West’s Robert Taylor reported on a “tense one-hour meeting” on Tuesday at which Omodei and Buswell agreed that the issue would be resolved at today’s party meeting, which nobody doubted would result in Buswell assuming the leadership if he chose to contest it.

Buswell’s rocky rise to the top comes just three years after he entered parliament at the February 2005 state election as member for Vasse, where he won preselection at the expense of sitting member Bernie Masters. Masters ran against Buswell as an independent and came within 209 votes of defeating him. Buswell went on to play a key role in the dumping of Matt Birney, who led the party for a year after the 2005 election and recently announced he would not contest the coming election. It was widely believed in the party that Buswell had pledged his vote to Birney but subsequently voted for Omodei, who prevailed by one vote in an outcome the Liberals would have little cause to celebrate in hindsight. High-profile Hillarys MP Rob Johnson, who stood against Buswell in today’s leadership vote (there has been no word on the result of the count), said at the time: “His cowardly and gutless disloyalty will be the start of his demise and I think you will find the shining star of Troy Buswell will diminish over the coming months. Let me tell you, if he is the future of the Liberal Party then God help the Liberal Party.”

Robert Taylor wrote in The West this week that Buswell’s strategy was to unite members of his own faction, which is associated with current Senators Chris Ellison and Mathias Cormann and the recently departed Ian Campbell, with the opposing Noel Crichton-Browne camp. This has been achieved through an alliance with party upper house leader Norman Moore, who is “strongly identified” with Crichton-Browne. Taylor reported that Moore was “expected to retire at the next election but is now on the verge of going around for another four years”, sending “a strong message to those MPs still furious with Mr Buswell over his support for Mr Omodei in his battle with Mr Birney”.

It would be something of an understatement to say that the plot has not come to fruition under the happiest of circumstances. The ABC reported that today’s leadership vote was delayed 25 minutes while the party awaited the arrival of Murdoch MP Trevor Sprigg (right). It was then held without him after news arrived he was being hospitalised after a suspected heart attack. Half an hour later, the ABC reported that Sprigg had died. Buswell now faces an immediate test of his electoral appeal in the reasonably safe southern suburbs seat of Murdoch, where the newcomer Sprigg boosted the party’s margin from 4.1 per cent to 5.9 per cent at the February 2005 election. Murdoch will be abolished as of the next election due to the one-vote one-value redistribution, to be replaced by the new seat of Bateman. According to Antony Green’s calculations, the Liberal margin in the new seat is 6.9 per cent. The map belows shows the old (green) and new (red) boundaries with booth results from the 2005 election.

UPDATE: The West Australian “understands” that the result of the ballot was 17 votes for Troy Buswell and 10 for Rob Johnson, “with one MP scrawling the name Paul Omodei on the ballot”. It also observes that Nedlands MP and Shadow Attorney-General Sue Walker was absent from the meeting, “fuelling speculation that she intends to run for her seat of Nedlands as an independent at the next election”.

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.

108 comments on “Siege of Troy”

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  1. Unbelievable.
    Glen is still banging on about Rudd at the strip club.
    I would have thought that the election result would have proved how much every other Australian gave a rats about it.
    And seriously, if it’s the best you can come up with, even after all the money that was spent trying to find dirt, then I suspect we are in for a Labor Government for a long long time.
    Not to mention the fact that there will be no opposition likely for a generation.

  2. What you all have to remember is that the libs will probably be facing two labor govts working together. I would expect some of this “Co-operative Federalism ” to conveniently yield some results a month or so before the election. (Even if it is a short term unsustainable stunt). Without the risk of some small petty state throwing a spanner in the works for a change.

  3. Testcard,

    You’ve summed up the Libs better than I could 🙂

    It seems the Libs lost the plot once Court the elder (Deceased) retired – Ray O’Conner got caught up with WA Inc, Dickie tried to emulate Daddy but failed – his only lgacy was The Bell Tower. Oh and people forgot that Dickie sold and closed down almost every Govt piece of infrastructure that he could.

    Jen: Yep, Glen still hoping for the Scores Bounce 🙂 Pity he doesn’t realise the difference between where each event took place, I’m pretty sure andrew Bartlett can relate to Buswell’s predicament as well.

  4. Here’s some points that will help Labor get re-elected, Glen:

    1. Mandurah Line finally done – extremely popular, and people understand that with the labor shortages (due to mining boom), running over-time and over-budget was going to happen. Labor won’t lose any South Metro seats this election.

    2. Carps has shown himself to be fairly tough on corruption – unlike Omodei and, I suspect, Buswell. Reference: Shelley Archer/Anthony Fels incident. Archer was put under such pressure that she was eventually forced to resign from the ALP, over revelations that she had sent confidential information to Burke. Fels got off scot-free after faxing much the same information to Noel Chrichton-Browne. If the Libs try to run with the “they’re corrupt” line, they’ll look very stupid indeed.

    3. Buswell is no clean-skin. He may not survive in his own electorate, and will almost certainly not win the election. All Labor has to do is campaign heavily in his electorate, forcing him to come home or lose his seat. Minus a leader (even such an ineffectual, backstabbing excuse for one) will hamstring the Libs’ election campaign.

    4. There’s no “big brother” in Canberra to help out the WA Libs by sabotaging the WA Labor Government, unlike last time. Indeed, it will be the other way around. Expect a series of “good-news” announcements in late 2008 at joint press conferences between Cth Gov’t and WA Gov’t, demonstrating the benefits of a Carpenter Government.

  5. 1. Predictions this far out…please..yeeesh

    2. Yup, the ALP has done its best to lose. The Problem is so has the Libs. It would be hilarious if the ‘independant’ nats hold the balance…

    3. Anyway, now Omedai is no longer the leader, a cosy deal will be done with the nats, so there goes the latter part of point 2.

    4. Scores is soooooooo last year.

    5. Everything will be overshadowed by the US Economy going down the crapper.

    6. I am gong to bed

  6. Hey, you lot of t’othersiders, lay off the WA pollies. They may be bastards, but they’re OUR bastards.

    Keep this up and we’ll secede and take Wilson Tuckey and Ross Lightfoot with us. Where would you be then?

  7. [Keep this up and we’ll secede and take Wilson Tuckey and Ross Lightfoot with us. Where would you be then?]

    You forgot Julie Bishop- Glen would be mortified if she couldn’t play 2IC to Lord Nelson.

  8. Look Frank, we’d lower the collective IQ of the federal parliamentary Liberal party to 35 if we took Tuckey and Lightfoot away from them. Taking Julie Bishop as well would be too cruel, depriving them of the other half.

    OK. I’ll go back to my day job.

  9. So far, as my neighbour has taken to watering at midday again, and for two hours overnight, I have taken it upon myself to remove his Arlec timer.

    I am attempting to undo the thing, it has two Philips head screws. My intention is to snip the wires then to return the timer to its plug. I have managed to extricate one screw, but the other will not budge.

    What could be the problem?

  10. Crikey. I have read your post with interest always. But what are you doing? If your neighbor pisses you off that much why dont you just film them watering & show it to the council. No need to play ‘mission impossible’

  11. [There are very serious questions about the competence and therefore the longevity of an ALP government in Western Australia.]

    Lets deal with the Burke stuff first. Labor has dealt decisively and determindely with all corruption revealed by Australia’s toughest anti-corruption system, unlike Howard, Carpenter has sacked those who deserve it, and unlike the State Liberals Carpenter wanted to push the discredited members out of the Upper House. That the libs worked so hard to save those two members will do them a lot of harm.

    They might have thought they won the media at the time (and with the local press it isn’t surprising) but by acting to protect those two they wont be able to run on corruption, or alledged corruption, because Carpenter has a strong clear and clean record of rooting it out, and they have a public record of protecting and defending it, whenever it is convenient, or rather inconvenient and involves one of them.

    Frankly (sorry Frank no pun intended) there aren’t very serious questions about the competence of the Government, you name one?

    What there is, is lots of really bad press from a sole newspaper willing to publish anything, including on occassion fiction if it will make the Government look bad.

    An now the libs are led by a drunken hick from Busselton who think women are then for his entertainment and abuse. It might be a close election but the Libs are working really hard to negate the massive advantage they have from the media over here.

  12. glen your attempt to compare the Scores visist to Buswell’s behaviour is admirable as always but stupid. i would have been concerned if Rudd had snapped a bra strap of a colleague- a lot more serious IMO. But I understand, youre desparate, your beloved party is not in power anywhere, and WA is the best chance of a bad lot….

  13. Oh Glen I forgot to mention the new leader (ROFLMAO) with less than a term in the parliament. Wouldn’t that exclude him from any chance based on your much promoted ‘experience’ criteria … seems all his experience is questionable – stabbing an ethical leader in the back, abusing female fellow members and snapping bra-straps … classy CV …

  14. I have managed to extricate one screw, but the other will not budge.

    What could be the problem?

    Put screwdriver into screw then tap the other end of screwdriver a few times firmly but not too hard.

    I must say though, If I caught you doing this to my stuff…I would be very very unhappy

  15. Jasmine (61) Please settle down. The ALP has a fair chance of winning the next election but it won’t if its leadership team is affected by the same hubris you appear to have. I agree with the words of caution of Gary Bruce (48).

  16. The WA Libs are like the Keystone Cops, but not funny. Their MPs are way too concerned about grabbing what they can of the limited spoils available -and denying them to their enemies- to come close to winning government in 12 months time. Buswell is no Kevin Rudd, and the WA Libs have not suffered enough, yet, in the way the Federal ALP suffered, to have any potent desire for power. Brendan Grills (the Nats leader) seems one of the few conservative WA politicians with any real idea of how to handle Opposition. If the WA conservative parties merge, as Glen suggests earlier, they should make him leader. He still won’t win, but he’ll make them a more effective and creative opposition. And that will put pressure on Carpenter and Co to improve their governance.

    “Corrupt” and “tired” were two adjectives used above to describe the Carpenter govt. I’d add “dumb” to that list. But the overall strength of the State economy will play better for Carpenter than the issue did for Howard. And -despite appearances at the Federal election- there are not enough real rednecks in WA who will support Troy the Boy’s bra-fiddling. I think Troy is only keeping the seat warm for a real prospect.

  17. #63: Jasmine: “Oh Glen I forgot to mention the new leader (ROFLMAO) with less than a term in the parliament. ”

    How many terms in Parliament did ol’ Hawkie have before he became Opposition Leader? Or are the standards different if you’re an ALP member?

    I don’t think he (Hawke) was a model citizen either.

    Let’s keep this in perspective, please.

  18. With all this jockeying for position by TROY does this mean his bid for the leadership was done aboard a Trojan horse?

    On another matter I used to know a theatre director from WA named Ray Omodei. i assume with such an unusual surname they are related.

  19. I don’t need to settle down. And if you want to play me instead of the issues then great go for it. But you claimed incompetence and you have not backed it up and you try to cover that by suggesting I need to settle down. Pfffft I was barely awake when I typed that let alone excited.

    Interesting that I’m still not seeing a string of ‘incompetencies’. Also I certainly didn’t call the election result. And while the media does all it can, including fictional stories because the health system is in pretty damn good shape overall, to be the official opposition most Governments would be defeated.

    I’ve dealt with corrupt and in my view you have to be a very blinkered partisan to complain about the way Carpenter has dealt with the issues of probity raised by the most powerful and empowered anti-corruption outfit in the country. Not to say people wont fall for a pathetic 5th rerun of a Burke scare campaign, but I’m thinking they wont.

    ‘Tired’ – this is just silly. The Premier has yet to go to an election as premier, the cabinet has had a cleanout or three, and the Government, including Gallop, is only in its second term.

    I’d like evidence of Dumb, Carpenter showed at first he didn’t have the experience and wisdom of Gallop, but very few of us do. Equally very few cabinets have the quality of McGinty, McTeirnan, Roberts and Ripper in them, just to pick out some obvious highlights.

  20. As much I think Troy Boozewell is not the saviour of the WA Liberal Party, the Carpenter Government ought not be complacent.

    Frank Calabrese – the Federal result in 2007 (operating under one vote value) delivered just 4 out 15 seats to Labor. It’s not the voting system that will save the ALP, but an improved performance.

    Jasmine – sure Carpenter has been tough on the bad guys, but the punters still smell a stink.

    I still think Carpenter might win in the end, but Boozewell will give him a better contest.

  21. tim – if you’re going to suggest that there’s a link between State and Federal voting intention, explain how the Libs won Cowan at the Federal election when they don’t hold a single state seat in the area it covers.

  22. Good to see the WA Libs taking their position seriously. They could almost win an election by default, so nice that they are putting in extra efforts to self-destruct.

    if its leadership team is affected by the same hubris you appear to have

    For the love of Fowler, now that the federal election is over, can we please have a moratorium on the use of the word ‘hubris’?

  23. I see according to The Worst, that NCB “Lobbied on behalf of Bswell to “Convince” MP’s who were going to support Rob Johnson, to switch camps.

    And the Libs have the gall to whinge about Burkie 🙂

  24. Hmm, and if Sue Walker does decide to stand as an Independent, I wonder if the Libs will do a second attempt to Parachute Julie Bishop into Nedlands ?

    Oh and the Omodei staffer who wrote the letter that started all this has since quit the party – what with all these rats escaping from the Liberal Titanic, Boozewell has a fight to rebuild the party.

  25. Well, nice to see this thread up and running…
    1. I cannot believe that with Buswell’s Brodgen-esque statesmanship the parliamentary party still thought him the best of the bunch.
    2. If Buswell can get promoted for the type of sexual assault (that gets some people criminal convictions) just imagine what they would have done if he’d really attacked that girl… made him President for Life perhaps? Lucky for him the Labor-staffer was a sport.
    3. I am sorry to see Omodei didn’t contest – was that the result of being worn-down or was it because he knew he didn’t have the numbers?
    4. Although I understand Rob Johnson is a decent bloke the talent pool in the parliamentary party is mighty shallow if the only choices for leader are between him and Boozewell.
    5. The idea of Sue Walker running as an independent is a joke. She struggled to win an absolute blue-ribbon seat as it is, got involved (indirectly) in a poster-brawl and has failed to make any sort of impression in her time.
    6. One-vote one-value will make a win harder for the Libs, but not impossible. Who knows what will happen.

  26. Is there really still talk about Julie “Dunderklumpen” Bishop being parachuted in? Surely she’s already circling Brendon Nelson’s smelly corpse, hoping Turbull will go the same way. Poor old Troy’s not particularly bright, but I think you’ll find Julie’s parachute would be a backpack with an anvil inside.

  27. [Is there really still talk about Julie “Dunderklumpen” Bishop being parachuted in? Surely she’s already circling Brendon Nelson’s smelly corpse, hoping Turbull will go the same way. Poor old Troy’s not particularly bright, but I think you’ll find Julie’s parachute would be a backpack with an anvil inside.]

    Only speculating, considering Sue Mile High” Walker’s possibly running as an Independent.

    If the LIis want Talent, maybe they could get Billie Court to Run against her. She’s got three things going for her, She’s a Court (by Adoption), she’d continue the Family Dynesty by being the member of the same electorate (Nedlands), plus she’s indigineous, that will give the Libs some street cred in that area.

  28. re 1v1v effecting the outcomes in WA. As noted in a previous thread 1v1v can assist the Libs as much as it assists the ALP. The party affected most is the Nats who may yet be reduced to just a rump. In a tight election the new boundaries may deliver a number of windfalls to the Libs around the city allowing them to govern in their own right – just what they’ve always wanted. The new Leg Council might also deliver a conservative majority with the Nats or potentially even the CDP (remembering how close they came in 2005). While I agree the new Mandurah line may save south metro seats, the same may not be said for north and east mtero, and the ALP should lose the rest of their agricultural and south west Assembly seats (Geraldton, Albany & Collie Wellington as they stand now).

    Of course, Buswell does have a smell about him, but like most Lib leaders is generally too smart to get caught for any financially dodgy dealings (Ray O’Connor not withstanding)

    And the next state/territory election is the ACT in October – so that’ll be the first outing for the Libs post-Federal Election, not WA (which I would think will happen early next 2009 not in 2008).

  29. Hasn’t Troy the Crass boy already been caught in cars with NCB? ‘generally too smart to get caught’ my fat a##.

    Is there even one notionally liberal seat in the Eastern Metro?

    It will be a tough election with so many marginals – unless Troy stays true to form and he’ll probably be busy explaining his latest gross behaviour to partake in the election.

  30. re 81
    Our ACT Libs are a bigger shambles than your Libs so there, I claim bragging rights, plus they do not have any Nats to support/fight with, so all fights are internal and the last leadership change was just before the Fed election resulting in the ex dep ldr now sitting as an independant

  31. Jasmine @82

    Seats across the hills have traditionally been Lib or Lib leaning – Darling Range and Serpentine-Jarrahdale are Lib held, Swan Hills is marginal (54%-46% 2PP), and at the 1996 election Southern River was a Lib held seat. Also at that election Thornlie, Armadale and Midland were all ALP marginals. I am therefore less confident about East Metro. At the next election I would expect this pattern to begin to be repeated, which may deliver West Swan, Kalamunda, Swan Hills, Darling Range and Forrestfield.

    And as for Buswell being caught in cars with NCB, I referred specifically to being caught with dodgy financial dealings – Burke and company were done on a range of financial dealings. O’Connor is the Lib leader I remember getting caught (although Wayde Smith did get himself caught up in the Wanneroo Inc stuff from when he was on Wanneroo Council). They have the same propensity for other stupid behaviour as the ALP – note Omedei shooting his son & Buswell’s “bra snapping” – which even reminds one of NCB, sadly. My point was that although there is a smell about Buswell (including from his time on Busselton Council) he hasn’t been caught with Burke or Grill (or doing their dirty work).

  32. Even if what you say is true, Stewart, NCP is worse poison than Burke politically. The Liberal leader being the subject of inquiry from the commision for NCP related activity, and still being beholden to NCP as his patron, at least in public perception, means that any attack on Labor using the Burke bogey can be turned right back on the Libs with interest.

    By the way, did you appreciate the Buswell love-in in the West this morning?Apparently the man is a loveable saint, just ask his mum, and they gave her a full page spread in which to tell you.

    And I just love the way the West had a competition to chose a nick name for the infant leader, but refuse to publish the most appropriate one, “Boozewell”.

  33. [By the way, did you appreciate the Buswell love-in in the West this morning?Apparently the man is a loveable saint, just ask his mum, and they gave her a full page spread in which to tell you.]

    And his dear old dad was a LAbor man as well, plus Boozewell was an ALP Member.

    Shades of Nelson anyone ?

  34. Meanwhile over at Team Omodei aka the Sunday Crimes.

    [NEW WA Liberal Party leader Troy Buswell admits that more reports of his past sleazy behaviour are likely to surface in coming months.

    And Carine MP Katie Hodson-Thomas has revealed that inappropriate comments Mr Buswell made to her were of a sexual nature and directed at her, not merely sexist remarks as reported.],21598,23077233-2761,00.html

  35. The result will be interesting for the Nats, that’s for sure – and I think there may be a surprise in the air. Keep in mind the Libs, despite having most of their seats in the country (11 out of 18), have done a pathetic job in the bush and their wavering on daylight saving was the shot in the arm the Nats needed to get their constituency back. They doubled their vote at the 2007 federal election and by all looks of things look set to at least keep their numbers where they are, with possibilities of gaining 1 and up to 3 seats in the lower house, and 1 in the upper house. Given that they have gone their separate ways from the Libs in a big way, and with the prospect of three Liberal Independents in the lower house, the next parliament could be quite interesting.

    That being said I don’t believe the Libs have any serious chance at victory – certainly Birney didn’t seem to think so in his resignation speech. (I must admit it is quite amusing watching the NCB Herald, ahem, West vs the Sunday Times… their opposite partisan positions that don’t necessarily correspond to party positions are a spectacle most states are lucky not to have to endure.)

  36. Oh – and as an aside – I think Labor is very safe in the north and south of Perth because of massive infrastructure spending. Most people, unless it’s to the extreme scale that WA Inc was, ignore corruption or treat it as a bipartisan disease. However they do respond to a government that actively promotes infrastructure. I live in the north and I can fairly say we were utterly abandoned by the last Court government. With Labor on track to sort out the education situation (with some help from changing of the guard at WACOT and SSTU and probably the most conservative education minister of the last 25 years in office) one big area on which the government is presently weak is likely to clear up before the election. With the federal result as it was, you can be sure too that the Rudd Government will be spending like crazy in this state on projects which both state and federal will try to take credit for.

  37. [NEW WA Liberal Party leader Troy Buswell admits that more reports of his past sleazy behaviour are likely to surface in coming months.]

    Im a Busselton local and I can tell you all there is plenty of stories around town about Troy, some of them are quite damning on his character.

    And in relation to his former membership of the Labor Party, apparently he was a member of the centre left faction.

  38. Hossen27:

    Grat Pic – that needs to be put up outside his Electorate Office Posthaste 🙂

    Andrew Owen:

    Yeah, and as I’m in Swan Hills, the new boundries get rid of all of the Liberal deadwood into West Swan, so Jaye’s got a much better chance – lots of Infrastructure in Ellenbrook, including a Cop Shop, and another Primary School, plus the expansion of the Govt High School to include Yrs 11 & 12.

  39. re North Metro: the margins in Ocean Reef, Kingsley and Joondalup are all small. While Antony calulates the swing needed for a Lib Govt to be 3.8%, this is ultimately do-able. The issue will be (of course) the variations in the swings in individual seats. Thats why I think East Metro will see seats fall to the Libs (I wouldn’t be nearly so sure about Swan Hills – the paper margin only increased 0.1% for Jaye), North Metro lose a couple (maybe 3?) and the remainder (3) of the ALP SouthWest & Agric seats fall. This might not deliver Govt, but it may produce a majority of only 1 or 2, with all the dangers that entails, and set the Libs up for a major victory at the next election. Sadly I suspect if the mining boom sours at all this could well happen (and the resources boom along with the apparently buoyant times will end sooner rather than later I suggest).

    On Buswell’s other dealings – well, having the West on side must count for something. I don’t really think Carpenter has performed so poorly as to warrant losing, but his Cabinet colleagues haven’t helped much. However, the infrastructure spending is important and it well be enough. By the same token Barnett had an opportunity to overhaul Gallop but blew it in the election. And as to the Greens voting not to expel MP’s, I note 3 reasons were given:
    1. Regardless of the merits or otherwise of expulsion in the present case, expulsion would set a precedent which could be misused for partisan purposes in the future.
    2. The Constitution Acts Amendment Act 1899 already sets out the circumstances in which a Member should be disqualified from membership of the Parliament, namely conviction of an offence carrying a penalty of 5 years or more.2 Those circumstances are not yet present – although they may be in the future if prosecutions are successfully brought against the Members for giving false evidence to a parliamentary committee.3
    3. It is for the voters, not Members of Parliament, to decide on the composition of the Parliament.
    There was a call for suspension of Archer from Parliament which the criminal investigation was underway which was not taken up. Equally it should be noted that the Commonwealth Parliament does not have an expulsion clause.

  40. Section 45 of the Commonwealth Constitution says that a seat becomes vacant if its member does something that makes them inelegable to hold a seat in parliament.

  41. I wonder how the NA are feeling now after stacking Sprigg out of his seat prior to his having a heart attack. talk about “moving into” someone’s grave.

  42. The NA would be the Northern Alliance, a Liberal faction noted for its strength in the northern suburbs. Principals include Peter Collier (upper house MP who reportedly has his sights on Katie Hodson-Thomas’s seat of Carine) and Colin Edwardes (husband of Cheryl and defeated candidate for Kingsley in 2005, reportedly hoping to take Collier’s place in the upper house). Sprigg’s electorate had been divided into safe Bateman and unsafe Jandakot and Sprigg got second prize, Bateman going to 33-year-old lawyer Anthony Jarvis. Robert Taylor of The West reckoned this was because “strategists believe Mr Sprigg, with his established profile, will have a much better chance of winning Jandakot than an unknown newcomer like Mr Jarvis, whose legal background would nevertheless be very welcome in Parliament”, but Average Joe presumably thinks differently.

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