LABOR to roll transport minister Dean Nalder from the proposed new state seat of Burt over the Perth Freight Link? Give me a break.
Opposition leader Mark McGowan appears to have been sucked in by a sloppy bit of reporting from the West Australian, which suggested Nalder “faces a fight for his political life” if suggested seat redistributions are adopted.
What excited the West’s Osborne Park-based scribblers was that when Nalder’s seat of Alfred Cove disappears he’ll have to contest the new seat of Burt, which takes in some of left-leaning Fremantle while losing blue-blooded Applecross, Ardross, Mt Pleasant and Booragoon to the new seat of Toohey (replacing Bateman).
But if the West journos had bothered to scroll a little further down the WA electoral commission’s website to look at booth-by-booth results, they’d have noticed that picking up East Fremantle, Palmyra and Melville won’t trouble Nalder; the booths in question are hardly hotbeds of socialism.
As the Herald suggested on its Facebook page Friday, the redistribution is unlikely to cause Nalder to lose sleep.
ABC election guru Antony Green reckons he’s still got a 10 per cent margin — not as healthy as his current 20-plus margin, and he’ll no doubt lose a per cent or two to folk disgruntled with the freight link, which runs directly down the southern and western edge of the seat, but I wouldn’t mind heading into an election with those chances.
It’s Labor’s Peter Tinley who’ll have the fight on his hands. His seat of Willagee disappears, replaced by Murdoch.
Labor heartlands booths in Hilton, Samson and Spearwood head to Fremantle while Murdoch gets areas like half of Winthrop (2537 Liberal votes to 806 for Labor at the primary school booth in 2013) as well as Bibra Lake, North Lake, Samson, Coolbellup, Murdoch and Kardinya.
Murdoch is classified as a notional Labor seat on a measly 2.6 per cent, compared to the 20-plus per cent Mr Tinley has in Willagee.
Mr Tinley’s upbeat public assessment is ”I think the people of Winthrop have finally had an extraordinary turn of luck”.
The decorated SAS commander knows a thing or two about surviving a scrap but on that slim margin he’s lucky the electoral tide is going out for the Barnett government on finances, hospitals and the freight link.
While pleased he’s getting the Beeliar wetlands he’s privately gutted that areas he’s worked hardest in, and has a personal affinity with, like Hilton, are no longer with him.
Fremantle’s Simone McGurk and Jandakot’s Joe Francis can, however, put their campaign gear back in the cupboard and go fishing. After picking up Mr Tinley’s plum booths, Ms McGurk is now in Labor’s strongest seat with a 15.2 per cent buffer, while Mr Francis’s 8-point lead has been extended to an unassailable 18.
In other local seats, Liberal Matt Taylor will switch from Bateman to Toohey and win in a canter, while Labor’s Fran Logan in Cockburn suffers only minor changes.
by STEVE GRANT