WA Labor Party members are likely to get a say in choosing the State leader as Kevin Rudd's return as Prime Minister boosts the Australian Labor Party's stocks in key Perth electorates.
The West Australian understands that if Mr Rudd's plan to give rank-and-file members a 50 per cent say in the leadership of the Federal party is accepted, WA Labor may follow suit.
It would give WA party members a say in whether Mark McGowan continues as leader if he does not win the next election, while dramatically reducing the influence of union powerbrokers.
Mr Rudd's announcement has led to a boost in interest from people wanting to become ALP members. Within 20 minutes of the Prime Minister announcing his proposal on Monday, the WA branch had calls from people interested in joining.
Last month, _The West Australian _revealed internal polling showing Federal Labor stood to lose all three of its WA seats. But there is growing confidence within parts of the ALP that it can hold them.
And if there is a further improvement in the ALP's primary vote, there may be hope of claiming either Hasluck - held by the Liberal Party's Ken Wyatt by 0.6 per cent - or Swan, which is held by Liberal Steve Irons with a margin of 2.5 per cent.
A spate of polls in recent days has shown a sharp improvement in Labor's electoral chances. Both a Newspoll and an automated Lonergan poll have the Government and Opposition 50-50 on a two-party preferred vote basis.
Senior Liberals conceded that Mr Rudd's return and high-profile former minister Alannah MacTiernan's candidacy have made the party's task of winning the Perth seat a lot harder.Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the Prime Minister's proposed leadership reforms were driven by the fear of being brought down by "faceless men". "The faceless men did it to Kevin before and he wants to make sure that he's protected against them if he gets another chance," he said.