The Premier of Western Australia, Richard Court, has confirmed rumours over the past few days that a State election will be held on Saturday 10 February.
The coalition government led by Court was first elected in 1993, increasing its majority in 1996. The coalition secured 35 seats (Liberal 29, National 6) in 1996, compared to 19 seats for the ALP. There are three Independents.
The ALP, therefore, needs to win 10 seats to form government. One Labor member, Larry Graham, lost preselection for his safe seat of Pilbara and may win the seat as an Independent, increasing the ALP’s target to 11.
In a predictable statement, the Liberal Premier said: “There will be a choice between the Coalition, which will continue to deliver strong economic growth, responsible financial management, more jobs and well-funded social initiatives that the community deserves. Or people can take a risk with the Labor Party which clearly is still not ready to govern Western Australia, having not reformed itself from its troubled history and still with the fingerprints of union heavyweights all over it.”
In response, Labor leader, Geoff Gallop, said: “Labor’s message is simple – this election is about a better health system, better standards in education and better policing in our communities.
“It’s about electing a better government for the future – a new government for the new millennium. Labor is ready to govern. We have the policies, the candidates and the commitment to deliver better government for the people.”