The West Australian has results from a poll it commissioned from Utting Research on Wednesday, which is the first voting intention poll from the state since the March 2021 election. It inevitably finds Labor coming down from its 69.7-30.3 win on two-party preferred at the election, but not by so much as to offer it serious discouragement, with a government now led by Roger Cook holding a lead of 61-39. The primary votes are Labor 52% (59.9% at the election), Liberal 28% (21.3%), Nationals 5% (4.0%) and Greens 8% (6.9%).
Leadership ratings were gauged for Roger Cook, Mark McGowan and Liberal leader Libby Mettam – the formal mantle of Opposition Leader in fact belongs to Nationals leader Shane Love, whose party holds four lower house seats to the Liberals’ two, although there have been negotiations to transfer the role to Mettam before the next election is held. Cook holds an approval rating of 42% and a disapproval rating of 26%, while Mettam registers 31% approval and 33% disapproval, with McGowan towering above both at 68% and 19%. Cook leads Mettam as preferred premier by 50-24. The poll had a sample of 800, and I assume was conducted by automated phone polling.
What follows is a wrap-up of electorally relevant state political news from the last few months. So far as the Rockingham by-election is concerned, I know of nothing to add from the previous post.
• Josh Zimmerman of The West Australian reported in March that Bill Johnston, whose formidable portfolio load encompasses mines, energy, industrial relations and corrective services, was considered likely to retire at the next election by “multiple sources within the WA Labor Party”. That would create a vacancy in his eastern suburbs seat of Cannington, which is safe for Labor at the worst of times and presently held on a margin of 30.4%.
• Joe Spagnolo of The Sunday Times reports that former Liberal leader and Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup says his favoured seat for a political comeback would be Churchlands, where he presently resides, but which has been associated with the ambitions of Perth Lord Mayor Basil Zempilas. However, Kirkup also allows that South Perth would “sit quite well”, with Spagnolo’s sources saying Zempilas would be favoured in a preselection contest.
• Josh Zimmerman of The West Australian reported in April that David Honey “appears certain” to face a preselection challenge in Cottesloe, with “a growing belief that he would be dumped”. Property Council executive director Sandra Brewer, who sought preselection to succeed Colin Barnett in the seat in 2018, was rated a possible starter.
• Josh Zimmerman of The West Australian reports Liberal MLC Nick Goiran, whose factional activities as a figurehead of “the Clan” have been under intense scrutiny, remains determined to run again at the 2025 election.