West Australian votes will be crucial in the federal election, and Swan, Pearce and Curtin could be key

Home Politics West Australian votes will be crucial in the federal election, and Swan, Pearce and Curtin could be key
West Australian votes will be crucial in the federal election, and Swan, Pearce and Curtin could be key

If the frequent sightings of political heavyweights on the hustings are any indication, political strategists think Western Australia could have a big role to play in the result of Saturday’s election.

Since the election campaign officially kicked off on April 10, we’ve had former prime ministers such as John Howard touring shopping centres with candidates and Kevin Rudd revving up volunteers at riverside events.

There’s been a procession of ministers and shadow ministers, not to mention multiple visits by the two men vying to be prime minister, to the western reaches of the country.

Scott Morrison flew into Western Australia last night so he could spend the last full day of campaigning in Perth, a sure sign that the state could be a potential pathway towards the Liberals holding power.

WA has not been the focus of this kind of political attention in recent years.

But even Labor took the unusual step of holding its campaign launch in WA for the first time since 1940, when John Curtin was just an opposition leader a year away from becoming a wartime Prime Minister.

“Whether [the campaign launch] itself makes any difference is really difficult to tell but it’s part of this broader narrative of WA really mattering,” Notre Dame University political analyst Martin Drum said.

Election result could be delayed

Western Australia only has 15 of the 151 lower house seats in the Australian parliament – but if the election is tight, it could come down to results in the west, where people will be voting long after the polling stations have closed on the east coast.

But if WA does hold the seats which lead to power, there’s also a chance we might not get a result on election night.

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