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Western front communiqué #2

The small-sample and often volatile Westpoll, conducted for The West Australian by Patterson Market Research, today shows Geoff Gallop’s Labor government headed for a drubbing, trailing the Coalition 34 per cent to 45 per cent on the primary vote with the Greens down to 4 per cent. A quote from Labor state secretary Bill Johnston saying the poll did not reflect the party’s figures has the ring of truth about it. A related column by Robert Taylor quoted PMR principal Keith Patterson saying his "gut feeling is that things could change", indicating that he doesn’t believe the figures either. Taylor reports that "internal polling by both parties is thought to show that in the key marginal seats the Government is holding its ground". While both parties believe Labor has little chance of retaining Bunbury, and the Liberals are "buoyed by the numbers" in Riverton and Joondalup, Labor are "firming" in Swan Hills and Murray. Taylor also dismisses talk of a February 5 election as a "smokescreen" and maintains February 19 is "firm favourite".

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