A HARD swing to Labor in the state seats overlapping the federal Tangney electorate suggests the formerly safe Liberal seat is at risk of falling to Labor for the first time since 1983, says political analyst Martin Drum.
Tangney is held by federal public services minister Ben Morton, who is up against Labor’s Sam Lim at the May 21 federal election.
While ABC expert Antony Green says Tangney is nominally a safe seat for the Liberals with a 9.5 per cent margin, Dr Drum says Labor could slash or even overtake that this time around.
“The demographics in the seat of Tangney are getting more difficult for the Liberal party,” Dr Drum said.
“The overlapping state seats have swung hard to the Labor party in both 2017 and 2021.”
Recent polling by Roy Morgan shows the ALP ahead in WA 63.5 – 36.5 per cent lead, while a smaller survey commission by the West Australian showed Tangney on a knife-edge, suggesting Mr Morton may have to put in the work to secure his seat.
But Mr Morton said he wasn’t focussed on polling, rather he would be standing on his record of delivering projects in his electorate such as Willetton’s basketball stadium, an Indian community centre and the Nicholson Road upgrade.
“I’ll also be proudly seeking re-election based on my role as a minister in the Morrison government where we have supported WA through Covid, both with health and economic supports, while at the same time worked to deliver real support for key WA economic drivers like the over $4bn new dry dock at Henderson that will create 500 jobs in construction and 2,000 ongoing,” Mr Morton told the Herald.
But Dr Drum says Mr Morton’s close relationship with Scott Morrison could hinder his campaign given the prime minister’s low approval ratings.
“This is the benefit and drawbacks of being part of a political party – you are impacted by the fortunes of your leader, regardless of how close to him or her you are,” Dr Drum said.
“I suspect most voters in Tangney won’t know that the two are close friends anyway.”
Mr Morton is also still promoting the completion of Roe Highway, gathering a petition of 3000 signatures, and calling on the WA government to complete the project, however Dr Drum doesn’t believe it will be an issue that’ll grab votes.
Mr Lim is promising $245,000 to improve Karoonda reserve, with the Brentwood Karoonda Reserve Sporting Association receiving $100,000 for club room upgrades and the Tingara Netball Club receiving $145,000 to develop facilities.
Karoonda has seen a growth in women’s sport and whilst fantastic, “it brings challenges for local sporting clubs, who need support to expand their facilities – support that an Albanese Labor Government will deliver,” Mr Lim said.
“Karoonda Reserve is a hive of sporting activity, and I’m proud to have secured this funding pledge that our community needs and deserves,” Mr Lim said.
by ALYSSA McNAUGHTON