Western Australia’s opposition leader is at risk of losing his own seat in another Labor landslide at the March election, according to a new poll.
The poll of 1021 residents across the state, commissioned by the WA Conservation Council and conducted by polling firm uComms on January 29, found Labor leading the Liberals 61-39 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.
Such a result on polling day would bring a 5.5 per cent swing to Labor from the bloodbath 2017 election in which the Liberals lost 18 of its 31 seats.
Five of the party’s remaining seats are considered marginal.
Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup holds his seat of Dawesville by just 0.7 per cent, although his elevated platform as leader could boost his vote in the electorate.
The 33-year-old first-term MP has put forward a relatively progressive policy platform but has struggled to gain traction since taking the Liberals’ top job in November.
He is the party’s third leader since the 2017 defeat.
With Premier Mark McGowan enjoying record approval ratings for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poll has Labor dominating amongst women and the over-50s.
The poll, run in conjunction with Create Ranger Parks, found most West Australians supported the creation of new national parks and marine parks.
More than 85 per cent of respondents backed the government funding conservation jobs to help WA recover from the pandemic.
“Overwhelmingly, the public support job creation measures that also deliver a benefit to the environment and the climate,” Conservation Council spokesperson Maggie Wood said.
Asked earlier on Tuesday about separate polling which also indicated Labor was on track for a landslide win, the premier played down the results.
“Polling is notoriously unreliable,” he told reporters.
“The government is fighting the Liberal party, the Nationals party, the One Nation party and Clive Palmer, who have all joined forces against this government. So it’ll be a tough fight.”
Mr McGowan defended Labor’s decision to preference the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party ahead of all others on two of its six upper house tickets.
He said the government had no intention of watering down gun laws and backed Labor’s call to preference One Nation last in all seats.
New figures on Tuesday revealed the Liberals had tipped in almost $100,000 to Facebook and Instagram advertisements for the party and its candidates.
Mr Kirkup urged voters not to allow Labor to take control of both houses of parliament, accusing the party of hiding its plans for its next term.
“That’s what Labor wants to see happen – they want total and absolute control of the parliament without checks and balances,” he said.
Voters go to the polls on March 13, with more than one million West Australians expected to cast an early vote from next Wednesday.