Swing is on for Labor
THE Barnett 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.”
While Roe 8 is a hotbutton 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, doesn’t think that ploy will work, predicting Belmont, Forrestfield, Morley, Swan Hills, West Swan and Perth will all fall.
Mr Bowe said outer suburbs would form key battlegrounds, and believes swings above 10 per cent are possible.
The redistribution of electoral boundaries has put Liberals like Albert Jacob (Burns Beach) and Peter Abetz (Southern River) at risk.
Even Matt Taylor’s new seat of Bicton may be in trouble.
“They look very safe for the Liberals but I don’t think they are really,” he said.
“Labor would be hoping for a 9-10 per cent swing overall.”