Labor Senate candidate in WA Louise Pratt.

Labor Senate candidate in WA Louise Pratt. Photo: Aaron Bunch

Labor’s Louise Pratt is out-polling incoming senator Joe Bullock in the below the line vote count in the WA Senate election.

In a sign of the extent to which Mr Bullock’s disastrous campaign hurt the party’s vote in the fresh WA poll, Senator Pratt leads Mr Bullock 1285 votes to 1039.

Labor senator-elect Joe Bullock.

Labor senator-elect Joe Bullock. Photo: Aaron Bunch

The numbers will not affect the final outcome, with Mr Bullock claiming what is expected to be Labor’s only seat in the rerun.

But the ABC’s election analyst Antony Green said on Monday that it was highly unusual to see the second candidate on a party ticket outpolling the first below the line.

“I don’t think it’s happened with Labor before,” Mr Green said.

“It happened with the LNP in 2010 and Barnaby Joyce was number two on the ticket and he outpolled George Brandis who was number one. It’s not as simple as people going out there and voting against Bullock.

“There was active campaigning for Pratt. It’s highly unusual, that’s the main point.”

Mr Bullock has resisted calls to stand down after it emerged he had ridiculed Senator Pratt’s sexuality and described some of his own party members as “mad”.

United Voice, the union that helped Mr Bullock to the number one spot through a factional deal, said last week that the former secretary of the WA branch of the shop assistants union was no longer fit to represent the ALP in the Australian Senate.

Labor’s primary vote in WA crashed to just 21 per cent in the April 5 poll.

Labor MPs have warned the party must reform or see the Greens emerge as the dominant progressive party in that state.

A Fairfax Nielsen poll published on Monday showed the Greens primary vote nationally had reached its highest share of 17 per cent.

That figure was sharper still in WA, where it had reached 27 per cent.

Labor Leader Bill Shorten is under pressure to instigate reforms that will deliver more democratic preselection processes.

Mr Shorten is set to call for the scrapping of the requirement for union membership for Labor Party members, but is being urged to push for greater reform.

Acting leader Tanya Plibersek said on Monday: “As we've said, if we want to change the government, we must change too.

“Our ambition is to make sure the Labor Party is as confident, broad-based and democratic as we want our nation to be.”

Ms Plibersek said Senator Pratt was “a fantastic candidate with a strong personal following”.  

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