Polls taken in the wake of last week’s leadership battle suggest a nationwide swing to the ALP that could deliver it up to 28 extra seats while also making inroads into the Senate.
This week’s Newspoll showed Labor leading the coalition 56-44. Separate single seat polls on the east coast point to big falls in Liberal primary votes.
At the 2016 election, the coalition won 11 of WA’s 16 seats with a two-party preferred result of 54.7 to 45.3.
If such a national swing was repeated in WA, the Liberal Party could lose five seats and see another three under threat.
The three most at risk remain those that opinion polls and both major parties have identified as being key targets for the Labor Party at the next election.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, who backed Scott Morrison in last week’s leadership turmoil, holds Hasluck by 2.1 per cent. It is the most marginal Liberal-held seat in the State.
Swan, held by newly promoted Steve Irons by 3.6 per cent, and Pearce, which Attorney-General Christian Porter retains on 3.6 per cent, are also going to be tough battles.
Even if the coalition takes WA 51-49, a uniform swing would still result in the loss of Hasluck, Swan and Pearce.
A bigger swing, however, puts other seats at risk, including Stirling and Canning, held by Peter Dutton supporters Michael Keenan and Andrew Hastie.
Both hold their seats by less than 7 per cent.
A double-digit swing to Labor would put at risk previously safe seats such as Moore, held by Ian Goodenough by 11 per cent, and Tangney held by Ben Morton (11.1 per cent).
WA Liberal Party director Sam Calabrese said the move by Mr Morrison to confirm a fix to the GST system would help hold the party’s presence.
“With an increased number of WA Liberals in the Morrison ministry, WA will continue to punch above our weight and remain focused on delivering for all West Australians, while highlighting that Bill Shorten and Labor are still silent on fixing the GST,” he said.
But Labor believes the move of a majority of WA Liberal MPs to back Mr Dutton in the spill, and the resignation of Julie Bishop from the frontbench, will help the ALP.
One ALP insider said the resignation of Ms Bishop would deal a blow to the Liberal Party’s fundraising efforts. “It’s certainly not going to get more…