Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

IT seems the whole of Aus­tralia has its eyes on the Can­ning by-elec­tion. This was high­lighted when a re­port about Ar­madale and Cock­burn coun­cils’ cam­paign for $290 mil­lion to im­prove traf­fic flow be­tween the two shires got na­tional cov­er­age in news­pa­pers and tele­vi­sion be­cause it was timed to co­in­cide with the by-elec­tion. But I think most peo­ple out­side the elec­torate are in­ter­ested be­cause it is seen as a test of the Prime Min­is­ter’s lead­er­ship. Nearly all pun­dits agree there will be a swing against the Lib­eral Party. But just how much of a swing? Lib­eral stal­wart Don Ran­dall held the seat by a com­fort­able 11.8 per cent mar­gin. If the gap is eroded or the seat is lost, some in Can­berra will be­come even more rest­less. An in­di­ca­tion of the in­ter­est the elec­tion has gen­er­ated is that there are now 12 can­di­dates cam­paign­ing for elec­tors’ votes. But it might not be just the ca­reers of these bud­ding politi­cians rid­ing on the out­come.

Rick Lee - re­gional editor

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