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WA govt in disarray

AAP logoAAP 19/09/2016

WHAT IS HAPPENING IN WA POLITICS?

Unchallenged for eight years, Liberal premier Colin Barnett will be challenged in a party room spill when its 46 MPs meet on Tuesday.

Mr Barnett is expected to defeat the challenge from former transport minister Dean Nalder, who is accusing him of erratic and illogical leadership.

Liberal Murray Cowper will call a leadership spill, saying it was clear to him Mr Barnett would not honour his previous commitment to step aside if it was in the best interests of the party.

Some backbenchers say they'll vote against Mr Barnett, but all his cabinet colleagues have vowed to support him.

WEEKEND MANOEUVRING

The West Australian government is in disarray after two ministers, Mr Nalder and Tony Simpson, resigned on Saturday saying they no longer supported Barnett.

Mr Nalder is linked to a group of businessmen who last month commissioned a private poll in marginal seats, showing the government would lose the election under Mr Barnett.

Mr Barnett ordering an investigation into the businessmen's dealings with government and whether they broke any laws, accusing them of interfering in democracy through a silent coup.

WHY IS IT HAPPENING?

The Liberal National government have been in power for eight years but have trailed the Labor opposition in a series of voter polls since late last year. The government's time in power has included the mining boom when WA's economy was Australia's richest. However, the economy is now struggling and nervous MPs believe the government is a strong chance of losing the WA election in March. Some believe Mr Barnett's time is up.

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