The WA Liberal Party put on a show of strength last night in its bid to wrest Alfred Cove from independent MP Janet Woollard, drawing more than 300 people to the campaign launch of challenger Dean Nalder.
In the first major 2013 campaign launch by a candidate, Liberal heavyweights including Mathias Cormann, Peter Collier and Norman Moore were on hand at South of Perth Yacht Club to show their support for Mr Nalder, 46.
Mr Nalder, 46, a former banking executive, said he was "humbled" by the attendance of 19 Federal and WA Liberal politicians, some of whom sit with Dr Woollard on State Government benches while hoping the independent is unseated in March.
But it was not just politicians supporting him, Mr Nalder said.
"There are people here this evening from the community that have advised me that in the past they have supported Janet and they are really wanting to get behind me, which is quite exciting," he said.
Mr Nalder declined to say whether Dr Woollard's campaign would be hurt by a messy family drama involving her son Luke refusing to pay court damages to a boat crash victim before his parents eventually paid up.
Dr Woollard, elected in 2001, said she had seen off previous Liberal opponents including former State ministers Doug Shave and Graham Kierath, and Chris Back, now a senator.
"Each election has been a tough call and, as I have done in the past, I will do my best," she said.