Why fortress Western Australia could hinder election
Scott Morrison could be forced to campaign remotely if Western Australia maintains its hard border in the run up to the federal election.
Speaking with Nine, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg conceded the government would have to resort to Zoom instead of traditional in person visits if the border is not reopened.
“It certainly does (make campaigning more difficult). It brings in the Zoom meetings more than the face-to-face ones,” he said.
“The first opportunity, the Prime Minister and I, and other colleagues, will make their way to WA.”
While the Prime Minister could feasibly call an election any day now, it’s understood May 14 or May 21 are firming up to be the most likely dates for a federal poll.
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Holding off until May would allow the government to deliver an early April budget and attempt to reset the narrative after a summer defined by the Omicron crisis.
WA is set to be crucial for both parties come the next election. The Liberals currently hold 10 of 15 seats in WA but a disastrous showing at the state election is a cause of concern for the government.
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese will be hoping he can ride the coat-tails of Mr McGowan’s popularity as he eyes off several seats in the West.
Mr Albanese on Friday backed in the WA Premier’s decision to keep the border closed indefinitely.
“McGowan has always made the right call based health advice. And I support Mark McGowan’s decision,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“I was intending to go to Western Australia on 5 February and I know many people, they were keen to go to visit loved ones.
“But the first priority of Mark McGowan has been to keep Western Australians say. By getting the right health outcomes is a good economic outcomes.”
Privately, Labor campaigners in WA recognise the closed border could increase their chance of a federal win.
Mr McGowan’s landslide victory means Labor is now swimming in MPs and resources at a state level, which NCA Newswire understands they plan to apply to the federal campaign.
Originally published as Why fortress Western Australia could hinder election
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