WA election plus two days

• 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.

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.

261 comments on “WA election plus two days”

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  1. Average Joe # 196

    “unpersonable and condescending in person”

    Yeah I’ve had some (American) Uni lecturers like that in WA. You can get away with it there but not in public office!

  2. Glen, interesting comment provided in that article you referred us to at 194.
    “Labor has yet to concede defeat and remains a likely contender to govern with the help of one independent should it win an additional seat as counting continues.”

  3. Hi glen

    is the vision of victory fading into a dim dark dimension yet?
    almost like a lonely voice waiting for a echo on a bleak cold iceberg,drifting aimlessly on an never-ending sea.

    have a nice day 🙂

  4. I just googled a few HTV cards for Kwinana. Family First, Greens and Liberals all preferenced Adams ahead of Cook… all adds up to Cook getting squashed, unless some FF / Greens prefs went walkabout. The page doesn’t have the ‘notional distribution’ thing, probably because it was always thought to be ALP vs Lib.

  5. I just googled a few HTV cards for Kwinana. Family First, Greens and Liberals all preferenced Adams ahead of Cook… all adds up to Cook getting squashed, unless some FF / Greens prefs went walkabout. The page doesn’t have the ‘notional distribution’ thing, probably because it was always thought to be ALP vs Lib.

    But how many followed the HTV Card ? I noticed a large number of people refusing to take ANY HTV cards and voting “blind”, which is why we’re not seeing any universal swings to either side.

  6. No matter what the Greens’ HTV says, 60 -70% of those predisposed to vote Greens will not stomach a preference to the conservatives.

  7. No matter what the Greens’ HTV says, 60 -70% of those predisposed to vote Greens will not stomach a preference to the conservatives.

    I totally agree with that.

    I note that Glen over on the new thread is valiantly holding on the slim hope that the Libs will get up, but judging by the ABC’s figures, it won’t happen.

  8. Its all over guys, Labor scrape back in by a whisker. 28-29 seats plus the odd (sometime very odd) independent.

    Those hoping that pre poll and postals will help the Libs are deluded, look at pre polls for the recent elections – they favour Labor, postals may favour Libs but they will not be enough.

    Grylls will figure this out and back the winner.

    Whats next the ACT? 😛

  9. Saying that Labor has won doesn’t actually make it so. Predictions at the moment have Liberals/Nat team winning by 1 seat, could go either way.

  10. Hmm, Dr Harry Phillips is speculating that the Governor may call for another Election.

    WA Governor Ken Michael could dissolve the Lower House and call another election in the unlikely situation that neither major political party can form government, political analyst Harry Phillips said last night.

    Dr Phillips said the Governor could play a key political role if the Opposition was able to win a motion of no confidence in the Government.

    “If when Parliament first meets there’s a vote of no confidence and that vote of no confidence was carried, the Governor may well then ask the Leader of the Opposition if he thought he could muster the confidence of the House,” he said.

    “If both failed, by some situation, well then there may be an election.

    “My understanding is … that the Governor would dissolve the Parliament and call another election but that’s a fair way down the track, everything’s got to be tested out.

    “And in the first place, I wouldn’t believe that someone would claim that they have the confidence of the House without having it.

    “(The Governor) would have to be satisfied that neither side could form a government.”


  11. Average Joe

    What we know is that the Libs needed to win 8 seats to form Govt. At this time they have won 3.

    My prediction is they have lost. 😛

  12. ruawake,
    If someone held a gun to my head and made me predict, I’d be with you I think.
    Still, it’s not exactly an easy count to keep track of, is it?

  13. So, Average, it’s now a Liberals/ Nat team is it?

    Saying so don’t make it so.

    Don’t you love how are right leaning brethern enjoy polishing Cow Pats 🙂

  14. I’m not calling it either way – the only people who seem to be calling it are the Labor guys, who are going against what William is saying, and are making calls like Labor have won Morley.

  15. Average Joe

    No Joe, I am factoring in that Labor lose Morely, Riverton and Southern River.

    You will realise soon just how hard it is for the Libs to win Govt. 😛

  16. How on Earth do you think Southern River is going to come back into the Labor column, ruawake? Most of the absentees would surely come from Canning Vale people, who are hardly likely to favour Paul Andrews…

  17. Fulvio @ 214 and Frank @ 215

    Your theory about Greens voters doesn’t hold up.

    45 % of Greens voters in the last Federal Election followed the Greens HTV in OConnor and preferenced the Nats ahead of the ALP in an effort to unseat Tuckey.

    Where the Greens direct preferences to the ALP they flow at the rate 81% and where they go “open” preferences they flow at the rate of 75%.

    If Whitby gets up in Morley, it will be thanks to the Greens deciding to direct preferences at the last minute.

  18. Ten News says the Nationals are demanding a ministry – a particular one I assume? Reporter talks of Carpenter being dumped for McGowan or a MacTiernan-Wyatt ticket if the result goes the wrong way.

  19. i think allanah would have a good chance mgowan is very closley linked with carps and will be seen as another carps arrogant and wants every thing hsi own way if labor do lose it will be allanah as leader groming ben wyatt to take on the next election

  20. proably agriculture or mabye even planning and infranstucure which would help with royalties for the regoins

    Try Regional Development.

  21. but the problem with wyatt taking over is he has not been in long allanah is a good choice with him as leader in waiting labor wont want to make the mistake the libs did on buswell a leader who had only been in parliment for 3 yrs when made leader

  22. Alannah is clearly the best choice as Labor leader in the event Labor go into opposition – she’s polarising in some parts, but enough people like her to make her ideal for a situation where there could be another election sooner rather than later.

    It helps that she’s generally considered the best performing minister over the last two terms.

  23. Actually from a political view it makes more sense for the nats to side with labor.

    Once they go into an agreement with the libs they are stuck there. The libs can renege on the deal down the track, blaming labor for leaving them a budget mess. If the nats pulled out they would be seen as economically irresponsible and would probably suffer for causing an early election.

    However with labor if the nats felt they were getting done over they could force an early election and be viewed as holding a (labor) govt to account.

    2 other things, the WA farmers federation have no objection to a lab/ nat partnership and even if lab get to form govt without the nats they will still need them for the upper house.

    And I don’t think the nats would change from lib to lab or vv rather than forcing an early election, its been done before but the minors have suffered because of the perception of chaos.

  24. it is interesting that ten has reported that bredon grylls will make a Decision with state council of the nat’s which is the body that rules the lay party i am sure its members will no be pleased to form government with labor if liberals and labor both match what the nats want i think they will go with the libs

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