Labor wins the WA election, decimating the Liberal party

WA Premier Mark McGowan is celebrating a history making election win with a massive victory reducing the opposition to just a handful of seats.

A Labor win had been expected since the start of campaign, and Liberal leader Zak Kirkup admitted there was no way his party could win a fortnight before polling day. Polls which suggested the Liberal party could be left with just two seats in the lower house were dismissed, but as the numbers rolled in on election night, it became clear – the poll was entirely ‘on the money’.

The Liberal party is predicted to hold just two lower house seats, the conservative strongholds of Cottesloe and Vasse. David Honey and Libby Mettam will likely be the only two lower-house Liberal members left standing at the end of the vote counting.

As the electoral map turned red across the city and regional seats, high profile Liberal members conceded defeat. At the top of the list was leader Zak Kirkup who took over the top job only 16 weeks ago. Kirkup lost his own seat of Dawesville, conceded defeat and announced his immediate retirement from political life.

Former Opposition leader Liza Harvey also her seat of Scarborough, she’d been the local member for the last 12 years. She’s been replaced by Labor’s Stuart Aubery. In Carine Tony Krsticevic looks likely to lose to Labor’s Paul Lilburne. In Churchlands Christine Tonkin is set to become the first Labor to hold the seat, usurping Shadow Treasurer Sean L’Estrange. While the Liberals also surrendered Bateman, the seat that been held by retiring MP Dean Nalder.

In Darling Range Alyssa Hayden told the media that she still held out hope for staying in the parliament, but early numbers showed Labor’s Hugh Jones was likely to end up with over 60% of the vote.  In Hillary’s conservative member Peter Katsambanis was on the receiving end of 19.4 % swing that saw him replaced by Labor’s Caitlin Collins.

Longstanding member Bill Marmion lost the seat of Nedland’s to Labor’s Katrina Stratton, bringing a close to his 13 years in the parliament including time as a Cabinet Minister in the Barnett government and Deputy Leader of the opposition under Liza Harvey. In Kalgoorlie Labor picked up other seat dismissing Kieran O’Donnell after just one term.

In Riverton, where former Opposition Leader Mike Nahan had retired, Labor’s Dr Jags Krishnan triumphed over the Liberal candidate Anthony Spagnolo. The people of South Perth voted in a Labor member for the first time ever in the seat’s long history; with Geoff Baker delivering a surprise win.

Having come to power in 2017 in a landslide victory that saw the end of the Barnett government, Premier Mark McGowan has now increased his lower house numbers by an additional eleven seats.  The Liberal party had been reduced to just 13 seats, this time round they’ve been left with just two.

The decimation of the party leaves the National Party as the official opposition having retained four of their five seats. However the National’s expected loss of Vince Catania in the seat of North West Central, and the loss of Geraldton, means neither party will have the required minimum of five seats to qualify under parliamentary as a minor party, robbing them of additional staff and resources.

WA National Party leader looks set to take over as a Leader of the Opposition, the last time The Nationals were the larger opposition party was under the leadership of Arthur Watts in the 1940s.

Labor will govern with a massive 53 of the 59 lower house seats, and is also predicted to take control of the state’s upper house, although it may be days before final results are known.

Early indications on Saturday night suggested Labor would increase it’s numbers in the Legislative Council from 14 to 22, giving them a clear majority. The Liberals would drop from nine members to six.

The Nationals would hold-steady with four members, the Shooters, Fishers and  Farmers would keep their single member. The new player in the parliament may be the Legalise Cannabis WA party who look set to gain two members.

The Greens would lose three of their members with Alison Xamon, Dianne Evers and Tim Clifford failing to gain a spot. Robin Chapple had already announced his retirement, and replacement Kimberly Smith has not attracted enough votes. Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettit looks likely to enter the parliament, where he will be the sole Greens member.

Also exiting the Legislative Council will be Liberal Democrat Aaron Stonehouse, both One Nation members and former One Nation member – turned Western Australia Party member – Charles Smith.

OIP Staff

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