L’es­trange: let elec­tion dust set­tle

Western Suburbs Weekly - - State Election ‘17 -

CHURCH­LANDS MLA Sean L’es­trange has not ruled out con­tend­ing for Lib­eral Party lead­er­ship af­ter the dev­as­tat­ing win by La­bor at the State Elec­tion.

“I think it’s too early to talk about that, as there’s still votes to be counted and seats to be worked through,” Mr L’es­trange told the Western Sub­urbs Weekly yes­ter­day.

The now for­mer mines, pe­tro­leum, fi­nance and small busi­ness min­is­ter shares an elec­torate bound­ary with party heir-ap­par­ent and deputy leader Liza Har­vey.

Mr L’es­trange said he would “not spec­u­late or com­ment” on be­ing Ms Har­vey’s deputy be­cause he was sup­port­ing col­leagues who had lost their jobs or still un­de­cided seats.

The MPS still in trou­ble in­clude mooted lead­er­ship as­pi­rant and Jan­dakot MLA Joe Fran­cis.

“Right now, we’re fo­cus­ing on the scru­ti­neer­ing of bal­lots, in­clud­ing get­ting Joe Fran­cis past the line,” Mr L’es­trange said, when asked if there was a date for a party room meet­ing to de­cide lead­er­ship po­si­tions.

With 72 per cent of the vote counted in Church­lands, Mr L’es­trange had 64.5 per cent of the twoparty pre­ferred vote.

Mr L’es­trange has a back­ground in eco­nomics, teach­ing and the army with which he could tackle Mr Mcgowan’s dom­i­nant MPS.

How­ever, on elec­tion night Mr L’es­trange was coy when asked about other shadow ar­eas or in­ter­ests beyond his for­mer port­fo­lios.

“My fo­cus re­mains in that area, un­til such time as we get to­gether, and we review how things played out,” he said.

He said the party would wait un­til vote count­ing was com­plete be­fore de­cid­ing shadow po­si­tions.

Af­ter the Lib­eral’s loss in 2001, for­mer pre­mier Richard Court failed in his at­tempt to para­chute Curtin MHR Julie Bishop into the lead­er­ship, which even­tu­ally went to Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett, who has flagged Ms Har­vey as his re­place­ment.

Ms Har­vey man­aged to re­tain her seat with 55.06 per cent of the two-party pre­ferred vote but did not com­ment on whether she would put her­self for­ward for the Lib­eral Party lead­er­ship.

Ms Har­vey was not avail­able for in­ter­view at the time of go­ing to print but sent a mes­sage of sup­port to the peo­ple of Scar­bor­ough.

“I’d like to thank the peo­ple in the Scar­bor­ough elec­torate for their on­go­ing sup­port, es­pe­cially all the vol­un­teers who helped out on Satur­day,” she said.

“I love this area and I will con­tinue to fight hard for our com­mu­nity in the WA Par­lia­ment.”

Church­lands MLA Sean L’es­trange con­tem­plates the elec­tion out­come.

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