Britnell v Purcell slugfest shaping up ahead of state election

Member for Western Victoria James Purcell. Picture: Morgan Hancock
Member for Western Victoria James Purcell. Picture: Morgan Hancock

A potential heavyweight political stoush is shaping up between Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell and Vote 1 Local Jobs MLC James Purcell at this year’s Victorian state election.

Upper House Member Mr Purcell has not ruled out a move to the Lower House to slug it out with sitting Liberal MP Mrs Britnell in the November 24 poll. 

He told The Standard he would wait until about eight weeks before the November election to decide whether to stand again in the Upper House or possibly resign his seat and contest the traditionally safe Liberal Lower House seat currently held by Mrs Britnell.

“I wouldn’t rule anything in or out,” he said. “Who knows? I’ll decide how best to serve people of the South West Coast closer to the day.”

Mrs Britnell said if she faced new candidates at the poll, “good on them”.

“I hope people of the south-west know they have someone representing them who is brave, brazen and standing up for them.”

Mrs Britnell holds the traditionally safe Liberal Victorian Parliament Lower House seat of South West Coast by a comfortable margin after being elected in a 2015 by-election. 

Member for the South West Coast Roma Britnell. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Member for the South West Coast Roma Britnell. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Denis Napthine was the previous sitting member from 2002 to 2015, including an 18-month stint as Premier.

Mr Purcell, was elected as Member for Western Victoria in 2014 standing on the Vote 1 Local Jobs party platform.

The Victorian Labor government led by Premier Daniel Andrews has yet to announce its candidates for the region.

Battle looming? South West Coast MP Roma Britnell could face a challenge for the seat from current Upper House MP James Purcell (front).

Battle looming? South West Coast MP Roma Britnell could face a challenge for the seat from current Upper House MP James Purcell (front).