The seven hotspots West Australians need to watch on election night

On the other side of the ledger, the Coalition put first-term MP Anne Aly – who holds Cowan for Labor by just 0.7 per cent – in its sights. The contest there is still too close to call.

Across the state, there are contests to watch on election night, contests which could determine the outcome of the election.

1. Ministers down to the wire

Two Liberal ministers risk losing their seats in WA tonight.

Attorney General Christian Porter and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt have been in Labor’s sights and have regularly appeared in news reports suggesting the tide had turned against them.

But this week, both Liberal and Labor camps suggested the men will be returned.

Mr Porter holds the outer-northern metro seat of Pearce by 3.6 per cent and has faced a well-resourced campaign from Labor’s Kim Travers. But there is a significant mortgage belt across the seat and Liberal messaging on the abolition of negative gearing on investment properties has been on target. Labor is hoping a last minute campaign surge on Friday will get it across the line.

In Hasluck, which the Liberals hold with a 2.1 per cent margin, Mr Wyatt should hold on thanks to his strong personal vote.

Labor candidate James Martin was not the party’s first choice and was slotted in last July after its first pick Lauren Palmer pulled out of the race.

2. Swan’s way: Another Beazley in Canberra?

When Kim Beazley retired from parliament in 2007, WA had sent a Beazley to Canberra in all but three years since the end of World War II. Kim Beazley Senior and Junior represented the seats of Fremantle, Swan and Brand.

WA Governor Kim Beazley’s daughter Hannah will be trying to knock off Liberal Steve Irons in the marginal seat of Swan, which the veteran MP has held since 2007.

Both camps seemed confident of winning the seat this week, but Labor has been pouring in the resources. Swan was always the top of its wish list.

Steve Irons’ on-the-ground campaign was still confident late this week and taking nothing for granted.

Despite a high-profile name, Ms Beazley was sending out material aimed at raising her profile after pre-polling had opened, suggesting her campaign was struggling with last-minute problems.

But she has been in the field for 17 months and can boast support from Labor state MPs Kate Doust and Bill Johnston, two of Labor’s most formidable campaigners west of the Nullarbor.

3. Campaign surprises?

Retiring Stirling MP Michael Keenan was sitting on 6.1 per cent when he pulled the pin, leaving his replacement as Liberal candidate Vince Connelly with less than three months to campaign against a Labor candidate who had been in the field since 2017.

Although Labor’s Melita Markey did not start the campaign with a profile, she found herself ahead of the Liberals when Mr Keenan announced his retirement earlier this year.

Labor insiders have suggested a high-profile woman might’ve fared better for the Liberals, and Mr Connelly has struggled to establish name recognition at the commencement of the campaign.

The contest has been hard-fought, with both sides spending big.

Stirling will be close and one to watch.

In Cowan, Liberal Isaac Stewart is neck-and-neck with Labor’s Anne Aly.

The seat has been on the Liberal wish-list, but with the tide turning against the Coalition, taking it off Labor might have proved ambitious.

4. Curtains for ambitious indy

Progressive campaigns to wrest the western suburbs seat of Curtin have been mired in disaster this election.

First, Labor’s Melissa Parke didn’t last a week after WAtoday revealed controversial comments she made about the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

Then progressive independent Louise Stewart forwarded polling which was later revealed to be fabricated to a newspaper – which published it. Although Ms Stewart said she didn’t fake the polling, her campaign was mortally wounded.

Amid this a dirt campaign has been run against Liberal candidate Ceilia Hammond, who is seeking to replace Julie Bishop in the seat. Both camps expect a swing against her because of the loss of Bishop’s personal vote.

Ms Hammond should retain the seat with a buffer from last election of 20.7 per cent. But watch out for the primary vote of Ms Stewart.

5. Hastie off the hook

Labor had been making confident noises about high-profile Liberal Andrew Hastie’s seat of Canning, but its federal campaign team worked out a win was off the cards when they saw him speaking in support of striking Alcoa workers.

Mr Hastie has been running strong local campaigns in the seat since he was elected in a 2015 byelection.

There is some talk he could defy the trend against the Coalition and increase his margin.

6. Liberal outliers – Moore, Durack and Tangney

The swing won’t be so kind to three Liberal MPs in safer seats who have been keeping a somewhat lower profile this election.

There have been indications significant swings could eat into Liberal margins in Moore, Tangney and Durack.

Ben Morton holds Tangney with a safe margin of 11.1 per cent, but some have speculated there could be a high independent vote in the seat. Labor strategists say the seat is a missed opportunity. Additionally, Mr Morton has spent most of the campaign travelling with the PM instead of wearing out shoe leather on the ground.

Lacklustre Liberal campaigns in Moore and Durack could see MPs Ian Goodenough and Melissa Price lose ground in these safe seats.

7. The festival of the minor parties

The outcome of the senate won’t be decided tonight, but of the six seats up for grabs, Labor and Liberal will take two apiece, with a fight to determine the last two.

On the left, Labor will fight it out with the Greens for a spot. On the right, the Liberals might get across the line with preferences from Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.

Look for a higher than expected vote for UAP.

Nathan is WAtoday’s political reporter.

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