Internal polling by the WA Liberal Party shows Colin Barnett's Coalition face a big loss in this weekend's state government election as a result of their decision to preference One Nation.
WA Today is reporting that polls show the government is facing a two-party preferred position of 57-43, which would lead to up to 20 seats changing hands from the Liberal-Nationals Coalition.
This is much worse than the 52-48 result in favour of the Labor Party suggested by a Fairfax poll last week. Or even this weekend’s 54-46 projection in the Sunday Times.
Mark McGowan’s party is on track to make sweeping gains even in seats where the Liberals hold double-digit majorities, such as Balcatta, Belmont, Bunbury, Darling Range, Mount Lawley, Riverton, and Southern River.
The devastating loss of support for the Liberals is being attributed to the controversial decision to preference One Nation above their National Party coalition colleagues in country Western Australia.
The deal in favour of One Nation looks set to backfire despite being defended by veteran Cabinet Minister Arthur Sinodinis who describes One Nation as “more sophisticated” than the party of the past.
Labor have attacked the decision and made it a forefront of their campaign strategy to highlight that a vote for the Liberals is a vote for Pauline Hanson, who this week hits WA to campaign ahead of Saturday’s vote.