WEST Australians go into the 2013 election with the mindset they've approached all others over the last 25 years: sullen towards Canberra and the federal political party they see as most synonymous with it, the ALP.
With exactly one-tenth the country's electorates (half Queensland's number) the state is a second-tier "battleground" and the question is not whether the Liberals will do well there, but how well they will do.
This graph of Labor two-party-preferred votes there and in the rest of the country from 1937 to 2010 shows that while WA has been usually more pro-Coalition than the rest of the country, the gap in 2010 was particularly large (in fact only surpassed in 1961).
In 2007 when Labor won office again the Liberals actually took two WA seats from Labor. One was Cowan where the popular Graham Edwards' retirement meant the disappearance of his personal vote and a swing of 2.5 per cent to the successful Liberal candidate Steve Irons.
The other was Swan where 0.2 per cent shift was just enough to nudge Labor's Kim Wilkie out after nine years. - Posted on : 26-July-2013
After Kevin Rudd ascended once again to the prime ministership, Australia returned to one of its favourite election year pastimes: speculation about the ballot date.<br /> <br /> In an effort to head off this speculation and force the country to focus on policy, his predecessor Julia Gillard announced in January that the election would be held on September 14.<br /> <br /> But in his first Question Time after toppling Ms Gillard in late June, Mr Rudd said he would "identify a date for an election" in accordance with the allowances under the Constitution.<br /> <br /> The Prime Minister said he would take into consideration the timing of the G20 Summit in Russia on September 6 and 7, the need to hold the local government referendum, and the current coincidence of the September 14 date with Jewish holy day Yom Kippur.<br /> <br /> "I will therefore go through these issues with my cabinet colleagues," he said in response to a question from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.<br /> <br /> "Theres going to be an election, it will be held consistent with the Constitution and if hes looked at the dates theres not going to be a huge variation one way or the other."<br /> <br /> Mr Rudd could hold the normal House of Representatives and half-Senate election as late as November 30.<br /> <br /> The local government referendum cannot be held before September 14. The government has previously been adamant that both the election and referendum would be held on the same date, but there is now some doubt about that. If the two were to be held separately, the Australian Electoral Commission estimates the cost would be more than $120 million. Another option is to scrap the referendum altogether. - Posted on : 20-July-2013