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Johnson to run as independent in WA poll

AAP logoAAP 18/08/2016

Maverick former West Australian Liberal MP Rob Johnson will run as an independent in the March state election, saying he's received overwhelming support from locals.

Mr Johnson, who remains the member for Hillarys but quit the party in April, sent a survey to every household in his electorate asking constituents to respond anonymously whether they wanted him to represent them.

"More than 1000 voters responded, with 76 per cent indicating they want me to run again, 22 per cent saying no, and two per cent are undecided," the outspoken former police and road safety minister said in a statement on Thursday.

Mr Johnson blasted the Liberals in May for installing Upper House MP Peter Katsambanis as the party's candidate for Hillarys, overturning a decision by local branch members who had recommended Simon Ehrenfeld.

That prompted Mr Johnson to tell parliament the "hardline so-called Christian right, the religious cult as I call them, which is part of the Liberal party's ruling faction, vetoed his preselection".

"They fed off the back of those bigots who just wanted to stop Mr Ehrenfeld, who is Jewish obviously," Mr Johnson said at the time, during his budget reply speech.

Mr Katsambanis' pre-selection was upheld at the Liberal party state conference at the weekend.

Mr Johnson said on Thursday that Mr Katsambanis' selection had caused a lot of unrest in the community.

"The community do not understand why the powerbrokers have put in a candidate who only arrived in WA in 2010, nor do they like the dirty tricks that were played in his selection," he said.

"The local Liberals didn't want him and neither will the voters in Hillarys."

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