The battle of who could care less Over in Western Australia, the heat is on in replacing departing National Vince Catania in the seat of North West Central, with the Liberal Party confirming yesterday that Gascoyne pastoralist Will Baston is their candidate in the byelection.
Baston is the nephew of Ken Baston, a former minister in the Colin Barnett government, and will come up against the Nationals candidate and woman whose name sounds like a joke that you haven't quite worked out yet, Merome Beard. It could prove to be a monumental shift in WA's power balance. If you think we're taking the piss -- thanks to McGowan mania, Labor currently has 23 seats more than it needs for a lower house majority and is still deciding whether it can be bothered running a candidate at all -- we're not (at least, not entirely).
The shift could be on the opposition side. Managing twice as many seats as the decimated Libs means that the National Party is the official opposition in WA. Upping their MLA count to three doesn't just have the advantage of finally qualifying the Libs for most carpool lanes -- it brings them level with the Nats and could lead to a (modestly attended) power struggle in the West.