With just two more sleeps until polling day, now would be a good time to acquaint yourself with the sundry delights of the Poll Bludger’s state election guide if you haven’t done so already (or to reacquaint yourself if you have). As well as that, I have the following electorally relevant developments of the past few days to relate:
• Paul Garvey of The Australian reports a “growing belief within both major parties that the Liberals’ warnings of the dangers of ‘total control’ may be enough to prevent its electoral oblivion”. However, that would still leave the Liberals’ representation in the “high single digits”, down from 13 at the 2017 election. Zak Kirkup is rated as likely to rank among the casualties owing to Mark McGowan’s popularity among the large retiree population of his electorate of Dawesville. The report notes that Zak Kirkup has campaigned in Darling Range, in which the Liberals had generally been written off after gaining the seat in a by-election in 2018, and its Labor-held neighbour Kalamunda. Conversely, Mark McGowan has seen fit to visit the seat of North West Central, which the Nationals hold on a margin of 10.1%.
• The West Australian reports three unnamed Liberal MPs and another three unnamed candidates have lined up to drop a bucket on Zak Kirkup, mostly over his renewable energy policy but also for his pre-emptive concession of defeat, which one MP felt should have included some wriggle room. Another was “worried that by trying to appeal to left-leaning voters – particularly in the western suburbs – the Liberals had instead unwittingly provided the extra nudge required to push lifelong conservatives to lodge a one-off vote for Labor”. The issue was said to be particularly a problem in the South West, “including in coastal communities such as Australind and Eaton”
• A former research officer to Matthew Hughes, the Labor member for Kalamunda, had lodged a complaint against him over “verbal aggression and workplace bullying”, while another two former staffers say they quit over his behaviour. This follows extensive reporting in The West Australian on a former electorate officer’s claim that Roger Cook, Deputy Premier and member for Kwinana, unfairly dismissed her and was responsible for a “toxic environment” in his electorate and ministerial offices.
• One Nation has dropped its candidate for Forrestfield, Roger Barnett, over the more than usually racist tenor of his social media exploits, though he remains identified as the party’s candidate on the ballot paper.