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WA election minus three days

With internal polling reportedly pointing to a pro-government swing of up to 5%, WA Labor is hoping the prospect of a Troy Buswell premiership will persuade voters to think again.

“I’M NOT SICK” blares the front page headline of today’s West Australian, with Colin Barnett dismissing “whispers from across the political divide” as “bullshit”. Labor front-bencher Ken Travers said yesterday Barnett was “looking tired”, and claimed he had taken five days off during the campaign (which the Liberals reject). The editorial in the Sunday Times over the weekend similarly faulted Barnett for having “at times appeared tired and a little flat”, while nonetheless endorsing the return of his government. McGowan, 45, will devote the last four days of the campaign to a demanding four-day tour of 20 seats, the idea being to project an image of vitality in contrast to 62-year-old Barnett.

Much of Labor’s late advertising has sought to lead thoughts of a faltering Barnett to a vote-winning conclusion by invoking the prospect of a Troy Buswell as his successor, with Mark McGowan mentioning the Treasurer’s name nine times during Monday’s campaign launch speech. Helpfully, The West Australian today quotes an unidentified Liberal backbencher relating rumours that Buswell agreed to relinquish the leadership in 2008 on the understanding he would resume it down the track, by which time it was presumed the chair-sniffing furore would have died down (and also that no new furores would emerge – a forlorn hope if so).

For their part, the Liberals are trading off hostility towards the federal government with television advertising portraying Labor as “a mess”. This notion is further exploited in radio advertising with reference to the $1.4 billion gap between Labor’s costing of its Metronet proposals and the figure produced on Friday by Treasury.

Horse race latest:

• The West Australian reported last week that Labor internal polling showed their position weakening between a fortnight and a week ago. At the start of that period the tracking polling of target metropolitan marginals had Labor facing a swing of between 2.5% and 3.5%, but by the end the polling was said to be in line with the 56-44 Galaxy result – suggesting a swing upwards of 4%.

• And now a further week on, Rebecca Carmody of the ABC reports a Labor source saying the party is bracing for a swing of around 5%, and putting “most of that down to voter dislike of Ms Gillard”.

Joe Spagnolo of The Sunday Times reported Nationals internal polling shows Brendon Grylls is set to win Pilbara with “as much as 40% of the primary vote”, while it is “understood” that Liberal polling “could” have Grylls “as high as” 46%. Grylls is also quoted saying the party still regards itself as a show to knock off Liberal MP Graham Jacobs in Eyre despite Labor’s direction of preferences to the Liberals.

Joe Spagnolo of The Sunday Times further reports a “final week blitz” by the Liberals targeting Forrestfield, Joondalup, Balcatta and Albany, with Kimberley, West Swan and Collie-Preston identified as a “next tier of very winnable seats”. Labor is said to be targeting Balcatta, Belmont, Pilbara and Kimberley. All of these are defensive plays, but Wanneroo, Mount Lawley and Riverton appear to have been thrown into the mix to help take them all the way should things turn out better than anticipated.

• Speaking on 6PR yesterday, Barry Urquhart of Marketing Focus discussed research showing rising utilities bills were having little bearing on voters’ thinking. Concern was instead focused on “infrastructure, congestion and the cost of living and therefore lifestyle stresses”, with voters placing considerable value on the virtues of “stability and security”, to the advantage of the government.

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37 comments

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Compact Crank
Guest

Wewantpaul @36 – I work in the city and use both buses and trains. I think we have the best trains in Australia (haven’t used brisssie ones though).

All major cities in the world have crowded public transport. If they weren’t crowded then that would be inefficient use of resources and unaffordable.

Bob’s Back

(disclaimer – I’m his driver on Saturday and yes I am a member of the Liberal Party, Perth branch)

WeWantPaul
Guest

[@29 “total disaster” – bit of hyperbowl there old boy.]

yeah just a bit but how hard is it to properly service trains and run a reliable service. Labor managed it, these clowns have deliberately dropped the ball, like you they do not value public transport and think users of it should be treated like c$#p.

WeWantPaul
Guest

Terrible typing, long long day … yes it is your fault when you underfund and then things go wrong.

WeWantPaul
Guest

[Crowds on Platforms – OMG!! What terrible management.]

What a very liberal attitude. Four and a half years deliberate underfunding and non-investment and even yes it there fault when lines fail and crowds build.

But it was ok, after people had waited and sweated and crowded into a train, there were 20 Labor people at the station reminding them that a good government doesn’t underfund and uninvest in public transport and then abuse those using it for expecting a competent level of service.

What a very liberal entitled contemptuous attitude you have.

Paddy O
Guest

CC don’t want to get your hopes up but my wife ran into McGowan and Bob campaigning in Mt Lawley today. then he was off to Morley. Go Bob!

Compact Crank
Guest

Crowds on Platforms – OMG!! What terrible management.

You must hate going to popular public events – you wouldn’t believe how crowded it gets at Suni Oval when the Eagles play – poor management really, isn’t it.

Bob’s Back!!!!

Compact Crank
Guest

@29 “total disaster” – bit of hyperbowl there old boy.

Bob’s Back!

WeWantPaul
Guest

This government probably couldn’t raffle a chock in a pub – they are a disaster.

Metronet NOW

WeWantPaul
Guest

[Pretty disgraceful beatup by WA Labor regarding Buswell. Reeks of the desperation of a party bereft of meaningful ideas. This is up there with the “A vote for Howard is a vote for Costello” that we heard just about every election during the Howard years.]

Yeah they should have had a centerpiece campaign idea like a comprehensive public transport plan – clearly run out of ideas.

Perth central train station a total disaster trains delayed crowds on platforms.

Compact Crank
Guest

WA ALP is following the Anna Bligh playbook – making spurious unfounded allegations without any evidence about Barnett’s health, longevity and succesor – worked well for her, too.

Bob’s Back! C’Mon Mt Lawley – you know you want it.

Nemspy
Guest

Pretty disgraceful beatup by WA Labor regarding Buswell. Reeks of the desperation of a party bereft of meaningful ideas. This is up there with the “A vote for Howard is a vote for Costello” that we heard just about every election during the Howard years.

Rossmcg
Guest

Buswell is reported to have said on radio today that he will never, ever lead the liberal party again…yeah, right

WeWantPaul
Guest

Just got off a train. Was packed Buswell may enjoy the uninvited touches and touching in a packed train the majority of us don’t.

Passengers were left at stations.

The train was half size because there isn’t enough carriages. The audio announcements were not functioning.

Vote 1 metronet – put the tired hopeless lying libs last.

Bird of paradox
Guest

Today’s front page of the West: “Why we did the Harlem Shake”. Yep, it’s about that stupid meme dance and some miners who got fired over a video of it. Two days from the election… yep, state politics is a sideshow.

dovif
Guest

CC
The preferred PM messure is almost meaningless. How could you compare how a person is doing a job comparing with a person not doing a job

all it is is a popularity contest and have almost no bearing on when someone have to go to the ballot box and ask who is best to run the state for the next 10 year

In fact having a lower preferred PM rating is probably a good thing, it means there is more soft vote there for you to pick up. Unless you are the premier and everyone thinks you are shit

Rossmcg
Guest

Nice one dan’s mum

Dan Gulberry
Guest

From the other thread:

I’ve just returned from having dinner at the ancestral home.

Before dining, an ad for Barnett came on the telly. Part of the pitch was that he was going to keep up the record spend on infrastructure, AND keep taking the fight to Canberra.

My Mum, aged 74, suddenly burst out, “You lying sack of shit. All of that infrastructure depends on getting money from Canberra.”

Never been so proud of her in all my life.

Compact Crank
Guest

William @16 – Rob Johnson should STFU.

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