EbeneInfo – UA – Liza Harvey’s move leaves WA liberals with uncertain future

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With just 111 days of an election that MPs feared would lead to a historic erasure, the Western Australian Liberal Party finds itself without a rudder and facing some big questions about its future

In some ways Liza Harvey shocked her colleagues with her abrupt decision to step down as Leader of the Opposition – most Liberals first learned of this when a statement was sent to their group WhatsApp Sunday morning, before confirming it in three minutes press conference an hour later

His future had been an open question within the Liberal Party for months, with MPs increasingly discouraged by poor polls and fears of heading for an electoral cliff on March 13

Discussions about a challenge persisted for a long time, but that window passed when no one raised a hand at what was to be the last pre-election meeting in the party hall

This left a bloodless transition as the only realistic path for change – and Harvey’s resignation will allow it

« I stand on the sidelines to give the Liberal Party – with a new leadership team – the chance to reset our election strategy and give the public a real choice in the March election, » Harvey said in his commentary. declaration of resignation

But now the Liberals are faced with uncertainty from all angles about an election fast approaching

And the quest for a realistic alternative to voters – in just under four months – will not be easy

Health spokesman Zak Kirkup and shadow treasurer Dean Nalder both declared their hands, confirming they would nominate for the job

Other nominees could still be a possibility – Cottesloe MP David Honey and Churchlands MP Sean L’Estrange have already been seen as possible contenders – but Kirkup and Nalder are seen as the most likely winners

As for the MP, Vasse MP Libby Mettam appears to be a strong candidate to succeed Bill Marmion, who is at risk of pressure to relinquish his plum Nedlands seat for new blood

Anyone in the top position will have little time to make political decisions and market themselves to the public as a viable alternative to Premier Mark McGowan

Big calls will need to be made on potentially contentious policy areas, such as whether to revisit the sale of Western Power or embark on full-scale tax reform

And the union of a liberal team which has now been fighting internal tensions for years will also be a top priority

As for Harvey, the Liberals had high hopes for her when she took over from Mike Nahan in mid-2019

She had ministerial experience, a fascinating history and what they saw as the sympathy and charisma to win over audiences

Opposition MPs were initially encouraged by the results, but concerns have grown during the pandemic, especially over Harvey’s decision-making over the interstate border

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Polls had warned the Liberals could be heading for an erasure, with the party falling well behind in a range of key seats, including Harvey’s

Nevertheless, some in the Labor Party thought the opposition was better off with Harvey in charge than without

But some key Liberals had resigned for months and the best they could hope for was to hold their tiny ground, while admitting there was a serious risk of things getting worse.

The new leader won’t have much time to turn around – but given the position he is in now, just saving the furniture may be seen as a decent result by some liberals

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Liza Harvey, Liberal Party of Australia (Western Australia Division), Dean Nalder, Leader of the Opposition

EbeneInfo – AU – Liza Harvey’s decision leaves the WA liberals face an uncertain future

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-22/liza-harvey-leadership-shock-leaves-wa-liberals-with-uncertainty/12908844

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