The West Australian today reports that Human Services Minister Michael Keenan will be joining the exodus at the election, creating a vacancy in his northern suburbs Perth seat of Stirling. The seat was long highly marginal, but Keenan has held it on mostly comfortable margins since he gained the seat from Labor in 2004.
There is also a uComms/ReachTEL poll in The Australian from the scene of the week’s other big retirement announcements, the Melbourne seat of Higgins. Conducted on Thursday from a sample of 860 for interests who wish to bring about the return of Peter Costello, the poll finds Labor with a two-party lead of 52-48. This compares with a 10.7% margin for retiring Liberal member Kelly O’Dwyer in Liberals-versus-Labor terms, although it’s perfectly in line with how the electorate voted at the election. It was in fact the Greens who finished second in 2016, but the poll suggests that is unlikely to be repeated this time: after exclusion of the 8.4% undecided, the primary votes are Liberal 40.3%, Labor 27.1% and Greens 19.3%.