It was an extraordinary and very risky acceptance of a party leader, only two weeks after a state election

WA Liberal Leader Zak Kirkup admitted what Liberals have been saying privately for months that Labor is on track to comfortably win the election

“I have to be real with the people of Western Australia and they tell me that they expect Mark McGowan to still be Prime Minister,” said Kirkup

“That doesn’t mean we stop fighting, it doesn’t mean we stop working to get as many liberals as possible over the line,” he said

While it comes as no surprise that Labor is on track to win, it is an unprecedented step for a party leader to get the shot while the campaign is in progress

A newspaper published in the Australian newspaper last weekend gave Labor a 68 to 32 lead on a bipartisan basis

That would give Labor a 125 percent boost that would give the Liberals only two seats in the House of Commons if repeated in all voters – only Cottesloe MP David Honey and Vice-Chair Libby Mettam stayed in Parliament

While Zak Kirkup and Prime Minister Mark McGowan dismissed the poll, both were on the scene this week fighting in the once safe Liberal seat of Bateman, which is being vacated by retired Dean Nalder

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The presence of both leaders in what was once a comfortable blue area spoke volumes about where the elections were going and that no Liberal seat was considered safe

Last week, Zak Kirkup appeared to be getting closer to raising the white flag and changing his campaign rhetoric to emphasize the need not to give Labor “total control”

“This is dangerous for the future of our state,” warned the opposition leader last week, claiming Labor would prioritize “frightening and marginal politics” if it secured the rare price of a majority in both houses of parliament

For the Liberal Party, the election has now become a last-ditch effort to save the furniture and prevent the government from gaining a majority in the House of Lords

A Labor government with “total control” is “dangerous for the future of our state,” warns the WA opposition. But what is total control? What would that mean for politics? And is it actually likely?

“A liberal party reduced to single digits is a major concern,” Kirkup warned today

“If there were no effective opposition in WA, how would we stop them if they go too far?”

Ever since Zak Kirkup became Liberal leader last November, he has been faced with the unenviable task of facing a prime minister with unprecedented approval ratings

While Mark McGowan’s border closings may have divided public opinion on the east coast of Australia, he has set records for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with his amazingly high approval ratings in the west, and they didn’t seem to be through the recent five day lockdown of WA will be corrupted

Social media was full of weird love jobs for the reigning premier, including photoshops referencing his dance moves

He was also commended for his response last year to questions about COVID restriction rules aimed at calling the state’s actions “common sense” as opposed to an interstate case in which a man was arrested, Ordering a kebab without a run during a lockdown

Labor took advantage of this popularity and ran a presidential-style campaign with Mark McGowan in front and center

For his part, Mr McGowan said the West Australian way was “never to give up” and he never considered doing so when heading for landslide defeat as opposition leader in the 2013 election

“It was a very difficult time, but you keep fighting and not giving in,” he said

“The election has not yet been held and we must respect the people of Western Australia and let them vote”

Political commentator Peter Kennedy said the Liberals’ strategy seems to be to persuade traditional voters not to get lost

“Everyone knows what the outcome of the election will be, Mr. Kirkup could get some marks for honesty

“I think it aims to sway those Liberal voters who are thinking of moving to Labor It’s a plea from Mr Kirkup that they stay in the group and keep the Liberal ranks reasonably strong”

The risk to the party is that it could backfire and damage morale among liberal candidates on the fringes

But some argue that the Liberals have nothing to lose, so it might be a risk worth taking

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World news – AU – Why should Zak Kirkup admit defeat just two weeks before WA’s election?

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-25/why-would-zak-kirkup-concede-wa-election-defeat/13191804