The image below indicates the notional margins in metropolitan seats going into the election, and the results as of the close of count on election night. Click on the image to toggle between the two. Colour coding runs from very light for below 2 per cent to very heavy for above 15 per cent.
Exchange from 6PR election night broadcast between former Liberal leader Matt Birney, broadcaster Howard Sattler and former Labor MP Graham Edwards. Much more remains to be said on The West Australian’s extraordinary coverage of this campaign, but Birney hits on the main themes.
MB: The West Australian newspaper, the journalists down there have been having running fights and personality clashes with Alan Carpenter and his senior ministers including Jim McGinty who once banned them. And I’ll tell you what, they have taken it upon themselves to punish those ministers for those personality clashes, and some of the articles have appeared day after day after day on The West Australian newspaper I think have just damaged the hell out of the Labor Party, and I might say as a Liberal, I’m prepared to say, some of them very unfairly.
HS: And yet today the paper said … today editorial in the paper said vote Labor!
MB: No it didn’t at all, that was Paul Armstrong trying to cover his backside in case the board tapped him on the shoulder and say, what do you think you’re doing.
HS: I know what you mean, but 95 per cent of the editorial bagged the Carpenter government and the last 5 per cent said vote for him (laughs) …
MB: Can I just respond to that? For those people who read the editorial, they’d realise that the editorial was absolutely scathing of the Labor Party …
HS: It was.
MB: … and then in the very last line said, but it’s probably a safe vote to vote Labor. Do you know what that was? That was Paul Armstrong, the editor of The West Australian, covering his backside in case he got a phone call from Peter Mansell, the chairman of the board, saying “I think you guys have allowed your personality clashes with these ministers to play out in the pages of our newspaper” …
During the campaign in particular there were a number of articles that were completely beaten up. For instance, the headline saying Michelle Roberts has dared the Premier to sack her. Well, she never did any such thing. The Premier flies to Albany, as you do when you’re a leader, to announce a renewble energy policy, and The West focus in on how much fuel he used in the aeroplane. You know, The West said “oh, the Labor Party aren’t in fact the green party because they’re bringing on 1100MW of coal and gas-fired power”. Well, if they didn’t do that the state would be on its knees. I could go on and on …
GE: Certainly the campaign between The West and the Carpenter government was a very intriguing one. It was there and it was real and I think Matt’s hit the nail on the head.
MB: It was juvenile, wasn’t it? … I don’t think that The West have a left-wing bias, I think that their journalists get into a fight with a politician, they then go back to their office and they say, “right, I’ll stitch that bloke up”, and then they find the worst headline and the worst story they can and they beat the hell out of it, and they then stick it into the paper for the next day and they say “there you go, cop that one, you want to be …”.
HS: So it’s all about megalomania.
MB: Oh, it’s out of control, it’s a teenage rampage down there at The West Australian at the moment.
Another highlight of the 6PR coverage, from Gary Gray:
Whoever was running that campaign panicked about the middle of last week, and they got away from the solid Vision, Stability, Leadership campaign they’d been running before in a fairly focused way and started pulling out scare ads of the uranium kinds and other things, and I think it was a huge error to do that.