Swing is on for La­bor

North Coast Times - - NEWS -

COLIN Bar­nett’s gov­ern­ment is star­ing down the bar­rel of huge losses in the State Elec­tion, ac­cord­ing to po­lit­i­cal ex­perts.

Mark Mc­Gowan’s La­bor needs to pick up nine seats in the March 11 poll to form gov­ern­ment, chan­nelling the mas­sive swing en­gi­neered by Geoff Gal­lop in 2001 when he ousted Pre­mier Richard Court.

Wil­liam Bowe, an elec­tion ex­pert from UWA, thinks a com­bi­na­tion of ‘Colin fa­tigue’ and eco­nomic mis­man­age­ment means La­bor can do just that.

“I think once the cam­paign is on you’ll see a younger, fresher Mark Mc­Gowan up against a Colin Bar­nett who… ev­ery­body is sick of,” he said.

“That’s go­ing to swing over a lot of vot­ers.”

The resur­gence of Pauline Han­son fur­ther mud­dies the wa­ters.

In a year that has seen the rise of the far right in Bri­tain’s Brexit and Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion win, One Na­tion could cash in on voter dis­quiet.

While Roe 8 is a hot- but­ton is­sue in the south, Mr Bowe pre­dicted a bro­ken prom­ise on the El­len­brook rail line would cost Lib­eral Frank Alban his seat of Swan Hills.

An­other pub­lic trans­port pledge – a train line to Perth Air­port from the city through the For­rest­field and Bel­mont elec­torates – has been is­sued to help shore up those knife-edge seats.

But John Phillimore, pub­lic pol­icy di­rec­tor at the John Curtin In­sti­tute, does not think that ploy will work, pre­dict­ing Bel­mont, For­rest­field, Mor­ley, Swan Hills, West Swan and Perth will all fall.

The redis­tri­bu­tion of elec­toral bound­aries has put Lib­er­als such as Al­bert Jacob (Burns Beach) and Peter Abetz (South­ern River) at risk.

“They look very safe for the Lib­er­als but I don’t think they are re­ally,” he said.

“The swing is on.”

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