News State Western Australia News WA election: Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup rejects poll pointing to Liberal wipeout

WA election: Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup rejects poll pointing to Liberal wipeout

The voter poll points to a 12.5 per cent swing towards Labor at the March election. Photo: ABC News/Jacob Kagi and Hugh Sando
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West Australian Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup has dismissed the findings of the latest Newspoll, but says it confirms that Labor could take “total control” of the WA Parliament in the upcoming March election.

The Newspoll published in The Australian newspaper — just three weeks out from the state election — shows WA Premier Mark McGowan could be on the way to a history-making victory, with Labor ahead of the Liberals 68-32 on a two-party preferred basis.

The poll of 1,034 voters suggests a 12.5 per swing to Labor, which would see the Liberal Party reduced to just two Lower House seats if the swing were replicated across all electorates.

About 10 per cent of respondents chose Mr Kirkup as their preferred premier, compared to Mr McGowan’s rating of 88 per cent.

About 70 per cent of the state is expected to vote early this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with early voting permitted from next week, making the next few days crucial for campaigning.

Poll is ‘wrong’, Premier says

Mr Kirkup, who sits on a margin of just 0.8 per cent in his seat of Dawesville, said he rejected the poll’s findings entirely.

“These polls will come and go and we’ve seen in the past how unreliable they are,” he said.

“We are 21 days away from the next election and that’s what we’re solely focusing on at this time.”

When questioned about the poll, the Premier said the results should be taken “with a grain of salt”.

“I just think the polls are wrong,” Mr McGowan said, noting there was a history of polls being “wildly inaccurate” in other election races.

“I just urge you all to realise the election is still three weeks away. A lot can happen.

“I just think everyone needs to take a cold shower.”

‘Dangerous for the future of our state’: Kirkup

Mr Kirkup has previously stated his party is the underdog in this election race and warned voters not to let Labor take “total control” of WA’s Parliament.

“[Labor] want to make sure that they seize control of Parliament without any checks or balances,” Mr Kirkup said.

“I think that’s a dangerous view of the Labor party, I think that’s dangerous for our democracy and dangerous for the future of our state.”

He said there would be a “real risk” for WA if Labor achieved a swing of the magnitude predicted by the poll.

“They want to be a single party with single control and absolute power over Parliament, without checks and balances,” Mr Kirkup said.