Libs ‘will negotiate with all except Labor’
Barnett COTTESLOE MLA Colin Barnett says he is not going “too far” in thinking an electorate backlash – highlighted by anti-immigrationtainted Brexit and the rise of US presidentelect Donald Trump – has a role in the forthcoming March State Election.
“I don't think we have that to any great extent, however, you do see with parties like One Nation that element of protest,” Mr Barnett said 100 days before his bid for a third premiership.
He said job security and employment would be the factors in the outer metropolitan seats, where votes swing and governments were lost, after the downturn causing people to lose jobs, overtime wages or have a salary cut.
“In the country areas there is this element of protest because, again, while mining is still strong and agriculture is having a good year, still you get that element in the country,” he said.
He is putting his faith in individual candidates and hard-working MPs to fight off people choosing protest votes, including any for One Nation.
In 2001, One Nation preferences directed against all sitting MPs caused the downfall of Mr Barnett’s Liberal predecessor Richard Court.
Asked if he would wait to see if the mooted One Nation insurgency in WA even materialised before tackling preferences, Mr Barnett said party officials would negotiate with all parties, apart from Labor, in the weeks before the election, but Liberal votes would go to National Party candidates.
“It’s more an issue as to whether parties like One Nation or Shooters and Fishers, or Independents, it’s more relevant where they put the Liberal Party on their preferences, not where we put One Nation’s because our preferences will never be counted,” he said.