Buswell has the majority support of the remainder of his motley crew (resignations have been rife these past few months), but his support from the Party as a whole and the WA population is low.
ETA 12:06 pm: Live press conference on now, announcing his resignation. He’s sledging the State Labor government, and talking about how he wants the campaign to focus on our arrogant government which is out of touch with Western Australians who are struggling to pay their mortgages and put petrol in their cars. He doesn’t want to engage in cheap personality-based politics, so he’s quitting as leader, but plans to continue as a parliamentarian “for many, many years to come”.
No idea who’s going to take his place – Barnett is mooted, but time will tell.
He’s said he will take all the reporters’ questions, but he’s answering every one with the same answer about how he thinks the Libs have a window of political opportunity. Therefore he wants to do the honorable thing and bow out – so that the campaigning is not personality-based and focused on him. They’re pressing him for a soundbite about not being the best mind for the job or being unelectable, and he’s getting a bit huffy.
The next election needs to be held by February, but could be called by the Government at any time.
 WA = Western Australia; Liberal Party = the biggest local conservative party.