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BY and large, influence in politics lies in being in power.

Clearly, in WA, the Labor party holds sway in that department, particularly with at least two years to go before election time comes around again.

That leaves Premier Geoffrey Gallop at the top of the tree with two key Cabinet colleagues just below him, Michelle Roberts as the representative of the Labor right and Jim McGinty from the left.

Dr Gallop has managed to turn around poor business sentiment of his Government.

However, he faces major challenges in the form of industrial relations changes his Government is making and the potential fallout from the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry.

Colin Barnett takes a place by virtue of his status as leader of the opposition, which was shored up at the recent Liberal State Conference.

That leaves key Labor Cabinet player Eric Ripper who holds the vital position of treasurer.

Mr Ripper is also WA’s Energy Minister and his approach to the restructure of Western Power has won him a lot of friends in the business community.

Giz Watson who leads Greens WA, the group holding the balance of power in the upper house, has the ability to wield considerable influence. She has been instrumental in pushing through some of the Government’s legislation.

Some suggest John Cowdell, president of the Legislative Council, plays a key role in all legislative moves by the Government.

Norman Moore, as head of the Opposition in the Legislative Council could also be considered a power-broker.

He is also understood to be a member of a faction within the Liberal Party that is aiming to unseat Mr Barnett.

However, after the re-cent State Conference it appears Mr Moore’s own position could be under threat from Liberal Party powerbrokers as they go about the process of trying to inject some new blood into the party.

Notable absentees might be opposition deputy Dan Sullivan – tipped as a replacement for Mr Barnett – experienced Liberal Cheryl Edwardes and someone who has already proved disruptive to Labor plans, Dee Margetts.

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