On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, it seems, 1744 voters answering landlines were ‘weighted’ to ‘reflect the population distribution’ and showed Barnett picking up twelve seats after a campaign all agree McGowan won. It is not revealed what the average age of the respondents was; how many of the ‘others’ were Katterites; or why it was thought the Nationals would preference the Liberals when some, by definition, abhor them. It was not said why Barnett’s traffic jams were popular, or his lamentable mounting debt, or his scandal-smirched heir-apparent Buswell, or how McGowan’s popularity, near Barnett’s a month ago, and a little above it after he won the Debate, had gone down since then by 9 per cent.
It was not said why ringing landlines on Late Shopping Night in commuter suburbs was useful, nor on Cheap Movie Night neither. It was not said which way the ‘undecided’ were leaning, or why the one per cent ‘refused’ hung up on them. These are two hundred thousand people we should know more about.
Yet O’Shannessy says Barnett will enjoy the biggest swing to a sitting government in all of Australian history; and O’Shannessy is an honourable man. Somehow, after an era of almost constant policy failure, he will pick up a quarter of a million votes; Perth moves in mysterious ways and, lo, this is one of them.
It is just possible it will thus fall out in the West, but I do not think so. It is just possible that Gillard is so toxic in the Anzac Shires and the Rolf Harris riverside towns and the merry-go-rounds in the sea that McGowan, who has repudiated her and told her to fuck off out of his patch, will fail to pick up seats because her party is his party.
But lose twelve? No.
If I am wrong, I am wrong, and my glum backroom informant, currently drunk in a warm bath of his own blood, is miserably correct.
But I stick, with shaking fingers round my Pure Malt, with what I have said. Labor with 29 or 28 seats, and a careful negotiation with Grylls or his baffled successor.