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Essential: support for curbs on political ads, voters down on Palmer

Voters strongly support caps on political advertising spending, today’s Essential Report shows, and they’re not enthusiastic about Clive Palmer having the Senate balance of power.

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BERNARD KEANE | WA | 18

The good, the bad and the ugly of the WA Senate re-run

The WA senate byelection on the weekend has produced three very different, and symbolic, examples of current trends in Australian politics. Some of it is good, but much of it is ugly politicking.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA | 19

Palmer, Greens win the West — now Abbott must play ball

The major parties had an unprecedented 58% of the vote in a clear sign voters are looking for alternatives. The Greens, who outspent Labor and the Coalition, were big winners, as was Palmer United.

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WA | 22

Clown prince: how Clive Palmer bought himself a WA media frenzy

Palmer’s spent half a million on ads. And for those who don’t watch ads, he’s spent weeks playing the buffoon, earning him more coverage than any other party running on Saturday, write Myriam Robin and Ania Dutka.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA | 4

Palmer, Ludlam … and pot? Who can win the Senate in the wild west

The recall Western Australian Senate election is effectively a race for three seats — and Clive Palmer will probably decide it one way or another. Crikey’s polling analyst previews the race.

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WA |

GM canola in an organic field could signal winds of change

Would you eat genetically modified food? If a landmark legal case in Western Australia rules one way, you may not even know. Freelance journalist Tim Oliver explains the crop fight out West.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA |

Libs likely the losers as WA heads to the polls … again

Western Australians get another crack at the Senate election, and their dissatisfaction with the Abbott government is likely to translate into a win for the Left. But will it matter for the Abbott government?

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CRIKEY INTERN | WA |

When gay sex was a crime: campaign to expunge records goes national

Victoria and South Australia will finally expunge those convicted of consensual gay sex. So will other states follow? Crikey intern Broede Carmody examines the roadmap.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA |

Poll Bludger: Griffith, state polls to test Abbott government mettle

Three state elections and some important byelections are likely to test voters’ loyalty to the newly minted Abbott government. Crikey’s resident polling analyst previews the electoral year.

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CRIKEY INTERN | WA |

Return of the chair sniffer? How Barnett screwed it up so badly

Colin Barnett rose from the political ashes to win the WA state election by a landslide, but now he’s facing a leadership spill against him. Perth journalist Tim Oliver asks: how did it all go wrong?

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA |

How Julian Assange could become a WA senator

The High Court is almost certainly going to call for a fresh election in WA. That means a fresh set of candidates — and Julian Assange could have another tilt at the Senate.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA |

Sorry, WA, you’re going back to the polls (don’t blame the AEC)

There may be just one or two votes between two of the minor parties in the Western Australian Senate election, so voters will be heading back to the polls. But that doesn’t mean the system is broken.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA |

How to avoid a fresh WA Senate election

With 1375 votes missing, will Western Australians be forced back to the polls over the disputed Senate result? The courts will decide, but our resident psephologist says it could be avoided.

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WA |

Sovereign risk at last? WA Premier threatens Browse venture

If you’re looking for sovereign risk in the resources sector, look no further than Colin Barnett’s threat to shutter the Browse project. Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer report.

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WA |

Economic reality mugs the Liberal economic agenda

The downgrade of Western Australia’s credit rating illustrates how governments can’t merely talk about fiscal discipline, they need to show it. Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane report.

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Crikey Blogs | WA | UNLOCK?

Senate guide: will Labor lose its tenuous grip on WA?

Western Australia provides the most consistent senate results, which is a nice change from Queensland, the other frontier state.

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WA |

Crikey Clarifier: behind the James Price Point decision

Plans for a gas hub at James Price Point have hit another snag. What’s the big deal about James Price Point anyway? Former native title lawyer and Perth writer Sarah Burnside explains.

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BERNARD KEANE | WA |

WikiLeaks Party’s ‘administrative errors’ incense Greens

A decision by the WikiLeaks Party to direct preferences away from Julian Assange’s strongest political supporter has incensed supporters. They should have known better.

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WA |

Economic lessons from WA: nobody booms over this bust

The Western Australian government’s budget and Rio Tinto’s continuing reliance on the Pilbara reflect economic reality rather than political or corporate rhetoric, write Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer.

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WA |

No room for history in WA: records out of space

Thousands of government documents are unsecured and at risk in WA due to a lack of shelf space in the records office. 3rd Degree student journalist Karma Barndon reports.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA |

Hold the funeral for WA Labor, it’s not so bad after all

Yes, WA Labor lost. But the party didn’t lose big, and it’s very difficult to dislodge a first-term government. The result will not be the end of WA Labor, and Mark McGowan will be in a stronger position next time around.

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Crikey Blogs | WA |

WA election wrap-up: how the final numbers pan out

The Western Australian election is all decided, and neither Greens nor Liberals got any benefit from the other’s preferences. Charles Richardson crunches the numbers.

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WA |

Toxic Labor brand cost WA’s Mark McGowan his chance

While WA Labor leader Mark McGowan out-campaigned the Premier, Labor suffered a huge swing. Former WA Liberal (and Independent Liberal) senator Noel Crichton-Browne points the finger at federal Labor — and the Nationals.

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BERNARD KEANE | WA |

State polls with ‘federal implications’? Time to kill the myth

The idea that there are “federal implications” of state elections doesn’t hold up under examination. But that doesn’t mean the Gillard government will hold on in this year’s federal election.

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WILLIAM BOWE | WA |

WA poll: Barnett restarts the cycle with a thumping win

Colin Barnett’s Liberal government in Western Australia won a decisive majority in the state poll on Saturday, marginalising the Nationals and giving federal Labor headaches.

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