Landslide election victories bring a lot of perks. Total control of the legislative agenda. A diminished and downtrodden opposition. But swollen backbenches also present headaches. Political fortunes change quickly and reality is fast setting in that next time around is not going to be quite as rosy. WA Labor holds 74 of a possible 95 seats in Parliament. The most optimistic scenario for the Cook Government involves at least 15 of those MPs finding themselves out of a job come March 2025. And while no one is predicting a Liberal victory, there is a good chance it could be substantially more than that. That means there is a lot of jockeying, jostling and union deal-making to play out over the next year. The challenge for Labor will be preventing those negotiations from descending into the Hunger Games. Against that backdrop, let’s dive into the scuttlebutt doing the rounds in Labor circles. Beginning at the very top — Cabinet — Finance Minister Sue Ellery is the only minister to have publicly declared their intention to retire in 2025. Mirrabooka MP Meredith Hammat, who like Ellery hails from the United Workers Union, looms as the obvious replacement — although that would leave just two ministers in the Legislative Council. Bill Johnston is understood to have told colleagues he also plans to depart. If he does, recently promoted Local Government Minister David Michael, also from Labor’s right, has been tipped as a potential successor in the increasingly important Energy and Mines portfolios. Attorney General John Quigley, energetic as ever at 74, maintains he plans to go around again. From there, the palace intrigue moves to the Legislative Council. Labor must condense its current crop of 21 members into something closer to 14, the number viewed as comfortably winnable within the party. Sally Talbot, Martin Pritchard and Rosie Sahanna are all expected to join Ellery in retirement, leaving 17 fighting for 14 spots. But there is a complicating factor. Labor’s Right faction lays claim to six of the top 14 spots. If Pritchard does depart, they will be left with just three remaining Upper House MPs. It is unlikely those spots will be used to save incumbents from other factions. Instead, the Right is understood to favour generational change — young candidates prepared to weather a period in opposition following the 2029 election. As revealed by The West, Nedlands MP Katrina Stratton is considering a jump into the Upper House in place of Talbot. Both are members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, better known as the metalworkers. When the musical chairs in the Legislative Council end, those thought to be at risk include Lorna Harper, Shelley Payne, Darren West (all from UWU), Kyle McGinn (MUA) and Peter Foster (AMWU). In the Legislative Assembly — where Labor holds 53 of 59 seats — Margaret Quirk (Landsdale), Matthew Hughes (Kalamunda), Lisa Baker (Maylands), Chris Tallentire (Thornlie) are all expected to call time on their political careers. Baker’s likely replacement is former Bayswater mayor Dan Bull. Daniel Pastorelli, Roger Cook’s chief of staff and a long-time senior adviser to Mark McGowan, has been strongly linked to Landsdale, where he lives. Pastorelli is understood to still be mulling an entry into frontline politics. Some in the party point out that without a factional base his preselection is far from assured. Labor State President Lorna Clarke — like Quirk, from Labor’s Right — is another name in the mix. Upper House MP Klara Andric — a star fundraiser — has been sounded out about replacing Tallentire in Thornlie but remains on the fence. Stephen Pratt, a good friend and former adviser to Cook, has also been linked to a move to the Lower House, potentially in the proposed new seat of Oakford in Perth’s south-east. However, Yaz Mubarakai is also eyeing Oakford, which on the draft boundaries would contain around 60 per cent of the electors in his current seat of Jandakot. The re-jigged Jandakot, also potentially in play for Pratt, is a questionable consolation prize given it would become far more favourable to the Liberals. In the same vein, redistribution of the existing east-west aligned seats of Hillarys and Carine — likely to be replaced by a north-south aligned Hillarys on the coast and Padbury to the east — is a hot topic within Labor. Current Hillarys MP Caitlin Collins — viewed as a rising star — is tipped to switch to the far safer seat of Padbury, which is the suburb she lives in. That would leave current Carine MP Paul Lilburne contesting Hillarys. That would likely spell the end of his political career. The redrawn Hillarys is considered by some within the Liberal Party a safer proposition than blue-ribbon Cottesloe. Bucking the trend of a changing of the old guard on the backbench, former ministers Peter Tinley (Willagee) and Dave Kelly (Bassendean) will both recontest their seats in 2025. But there is a twist — or a conspiracy theory, depending on who you speak to. The story goes that Tinley will then quit mid-term in a bid to parachute right faction colleague Kim Giddens, facing an uphill battle in Bateman, into his safe seat. The ins and outs are enough to make your head spin. If you’re finding it difficult to keep up, don’t worry too much: there’s a good chance at least half the names in this column will no longer be on the political radar in 18 months’ time.