Commentary the Western Australian election of 10 February 2001: Coalition demolition
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of International, Cultural and Community Studies
In a departure from normal practice, Coalition Premier Richard Court travelled to the regional city of Bunbury to announce that Western Australia would have a general election on 10 February 2001. The neighbouring marginal seats of Bunbury and Mitchell were two of the eleven seats that the Australian Labor Party hoped to win to gain a majority in its own right in the 57-member Legislative Assembly. Most commentators agreed there would be a strong swing to the ALP, but the party would face an uphill task as seat gains of this magnitude had not been achieved by an Opposition since Labor’s first big victory in 1911. However, after an election free year in Australia in 2000, the Western Australian election was also to hold more than usual interest as the first ‘cab off the rank’ in the aftermath of the GST and the petrol pricing controversies.