So long, Speaker

LABOR’S  Simon Millman won Mt Lawley with an 11.8 per cent swing at last weekend’s state election, but outgoing Liberal MP Michael Sutherland says blaming the One Nation preferences deal is a furphy.

Mr Sutherland nabbed 42.1 per cent of the primary vote, but preferences boosted Mr Millman from 40.6 to 52.9, with the Greens’ Matt Roberts getting a decent 11.4 per cent.

The Voice called Mr Sutherland as he was packing up his Walcott Street office on Monday morning, and he said there’d been a lot of misinformation in the media about voters punishing the Liberal party for the preference deal with Pauline Hanson.

• Michael Sutherland

Internal polling

While he has no love for Ms Hanson, he said internal party polling showed the swing had gone against the government long before the deal.

“In about November last year I was told the primary vote had collapsed to the early 30s,” he said.

“They told me there was about a 20 per cent swing in Mt Lawley.

“So this huge swing was on, before the preference deal came,” he said, momentarily putting down the phone to tell a staffer what to do with all the blue Liberal party balloons.

As for the swing against him he said “a lot of it was time,” with the Barnett government having been around eight years.

“There was a whole lot of balls in the air: small things happening, and some big like Roe 8, then you have these fights with the Nationals, the mining tax, the Western Power sale that was brought on too late.

“We wanted to float the sale of Western Power months previously and Barnett prevaricated and wouldn’t take the deal.

The Sunday Times recently reported Mr Sutherland was considering running for lord mayor if he lost the election and Labor ended up booting the current council out.

He wouldn’t rule it out, but said for now, “I’m just going to clean the office.”

“I don’t live the Mercedez Benz lifestyle, [but] I’m not going to start panicking.”

by DAVID BELL

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