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. I’m surprised that no one has joined the dots yet – but then again, maybe they have and they don’t want to think about the Ace card that only the Liberal Party can play to make all this happen.

    So how does a proposed new WA Liberal government come up with $700M additional to what has been budgeted and already promised? How could they? And how do they do it in such a way that keeps everyone but the Labor Party/Greens happy?

    There is a way IMO for the Libs to do this deal with the Nats – and it’s something that Labor can’t do, given their expressed views and Party stand point.

    The Libs have obviously been given the ‘Go’ card on U Mining by the electorate, and as this will be the new boom industry with new money and new royalties coming in, $700 million in ‘Royalties for Regions’ is realistically and readily achievable. Nobody I know has joined the dots yet, but to me this would be the most appropriate and most acceptable solution moving forward for all concerned. I have done extensive research on this (U Mining) subject over many years now.

    The U Mining ventures just raring to go in WA are bountiful, and there is huge money at stake for all concerned. Approved supply contracts have been signed and approved with the Indians and the Chinese at Federal Govt. level and WA is sitting on more U than the rest of Australia combined. We know that already!

    Obviously due-dilligence and worlds best practice standards must be attained and this will take time with the likelihood royalties would begin to generate in around 3 years time if they hit the ‘Go’ button now. The Nats would not likely be expecting a cheque for $700M tomorrow after all.

  2. 214,

    “Fulvio Sammut Says:
    September 8th, 2008 at 4:37 pm
    No matter what the Greens’ HTV says, 60 -70% of those predisposed to vote Greens will not stomach a preference to the conservatives.”

    I can vouch for that. A girlfriend was handing out HTV for one of the Greens upper house candidates on Saturday. She hasn’t got a conservative bone in her body. Even if the HTV she was handing out had conservatives at #2, she wouldn’t put them there. She puts (lower or upper house) Greens first, Libs last and then ranks the rest as per the HTV 😉 …..

  3. Wayne Thompson is completely right. Grylls has openly stated he is all for Uranium Mining. Liberals want to do it, and Labor don’t. Liberals can make good on the 700 mil royalties for regions, Labor will not.

    Unfortunate Mr Carpenter 🙂

  4. Ruawake@ 238

    The Liberals will win Wanneroo easy. They are most concerned about Riverton. Riverton will decide government. If you think Riverton wll fall to the Libs then you should revise your predictions.

  5. What about Albany it is getting awfully close there??

    If Albany falls the Libs are home and hosed, shouldnt postals favour the Libs there???

    Riverton is 50-50 but clearly the ALP cannot count on that seat.

  6. If Grylls thinks that that National Party voters would tolerate an alliance with the guilty party (ALP) then he should think again. We conservatives would rather spill a beaker full of hydrochloric acid on our laps than do anything which endorses, encourages or assists in any way Carpenter and his cronies.

  7. re: Generic Person
    [And boy, can’t I wait to expeditiously eject John Stanhope.]

    Looks like you get around a lot.
    Tonight you have claimed to be living in NSW and voting the ACT.
    How many states and territories do you vote in?

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