The polls are now open in Western Australia and will close tonight at 9pm AEDT. The Unshackled in the lead up to our livestream tonight on Facebook at 8pm AEDT will be live blogging any final developments as Western Australians cast their vote. Of course there is also our comprehensive election preview released earlier this week.
The Final Poll
The final Newspoll of the campaign was released by The Australian overnight with Labor still holding an election winning lead of 54-46% two party preferred. On average this has been the state of the polls throughout the campaign and if replicated tonight Labor will easily form government. The only path for the Liberals to victory is to hold onto enough of its existing seats, as Labor to form government needs to obtain swings in some seats of over 10%.
The Newspoll also shows that support for One Nation has dropped from a high from 13% to 8%. This would show that some of the fake news about One Nation this week has had an affect though it is plausible that not many voters are not prepared to tell pollsters they will vote for One Nation. But as recent elections have shown, no result is certain until the votes are counted.
Labor leader Mark McGowan has run a successful conservative campaign, focusing on the issues of concern to voters and not advocating many of Labor’s radical leftist policies. This was reflected in his performance at the Sky News People’s Forum on Thursday night where he was able to answer all the questions on key issues such as the budget, service delivery and law and order. Voters heading to the polls this morning have told Sky News that they believe Mark McGowan has a positive, down to earth image and comes across as a family man.
Despite the fact that McGowan has put in a successful performance in this campaign Labor is still not to be trusted not to radically shift left once in government as they have done both federally and in other states. The Coalition has not make things easy on itself with a stoush emerging between the Liberals and Nationals over cuts to the royalties for regions program to get the budget back into surplus over the past few days. Voters should take their vote very seriously as they will live with the consequences for at least four years.
Leaders Cast Their Vote
Both Mark McGowan and Colin Barnett have cast their vote. Mark McGowan tried to downplay the likelihood of victory stating obtaining the required swing is still like climbing Mount Everest. Colin Barnett made a last minute pitch to voters to reminding them they are voting for the next four years not just for the next week, he also highlighted the record of the Labor Party when they were last in government in Western Australia.
Bill Shorten in WA
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has given a press conference in Western Australia alongside Mark McGowan where he is making the case that a likely Labor victory will have federal implications for Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership and plunge the Liberal Party into a new round of internal turmoil. Malcolm Turnbull has not be present in Western Australia for the campaign, however Julie Bishop as the senior federal Western Australian MP has been out on the campaign trial.