Swing is on for La­bor

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STATE ELECTION '17 -

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.”

Greig John­ston

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