The Liberal member for the Western Australian electorate of Canning, Don Randall, has been found dead in his car in Boddington, south of Perth, today.
Randall was first elected to Parliament in 1996 as the member for Swan. Defeated in 1998, he returned in 2001 as the member for Canning, winning re-election in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
Earlier this year, Randall seconded a spill motion against Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The motion was moved by fellow Western Australian MP Luke Simpkins and was defeated in the partyroom by 61 votes to 39.
A by-election will now be held in Canning. It will test whether the strength of feeling against the Abbott government is as strong as Randall said it was in February.
At the last election, Randall held the seat with 51.07% of the primary vote and 61.81% of the two-party vote. In 2010, he won the seat with 52.19%.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released a statement that describes Randall as “an outstanding local member”. Abbott said Randall “was a passionate and persuasive advocate in Canberra and a hardworking community leader in Western Australia”.
Statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Click to enlarge.