The shock retirement at the 11th hour of sitting Federal Liberal member for Durack Barry Haase has rocketed Geraldton-based Nationals candidate Shane Van Styn from nowhere to the ranks of a "possible chance" in his first tilt at Federal politics.
Mr Haase, 67, who sits on a 13.5 per cent margin, announced his retirement on Saturday after calling Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and telling him he did not want to be a "70-year-old in Parliament".
With preferences from Labor, his retirement gives Mr Van Styn a chance of winning the seat.
"It's a game-changer for sure," an elated Mr Van Styn said.
WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls said the loss of incumbency for the Liberals gave his party a better chance in Durack.
"It's almost impossible to campaign there, it's so big - hundreds and hundreds of towns - so an open contest is a better chance for the Nationals," he said.
Mr Van Styn switched his party allegiances in February from the Liberals to the Nationals and challenged for the seat of Geraldton in the State election.
A qualified accountant, security company owner and would-be lawyer, Mr Van Styn is a colourful Geraldton identity.
The former nightclub owner lost his right to run a nightclub after a death in one of his clubs, so he turned to politics.