Saturday, March 11, 2017

Labour Party wins in Western Australia


WA election: Labor claim resounding victory


The Labor party is on track to record a resounding victory in the state election with a swing no one saw coming.
There is a saying in politics, "when the swing is on, it's on", but no one in their wildest dreams saw the tsunami-like swing towards the Labor party.
Just before 8.30pm on Saturday night Labor looked like picking up 38 seats, which is 17 more than 2013.


Political pundits had predicted Labor might pick up 15 seats, but the swing has been so massive Labor could easily pinch 20 seats off the Liberals.
The state opposition needed 10 seats to form government for the first time since 2008 and early on in seats like Swan Hills, there was more than a 13 per cent swing towards Labor.
In Collie-Preston which was tipped to go One Nation, incumbent Labor MP Mick Murray already had a commanding lead with only 14 per cent of the vote counted.
There was more than a 12 per cent swing towards Labor in Balcatta and 18 per cent in Southern River.


Southern River Liberal MP Peter Abetz told Radio 6PR just after 7.20 pm he had lost his seat. He also extraordinary claimed the Liberals would lose government.
Notre Dame University lecturer Martin Drum called the election for Labor just before 7.30 and less than an hour and a half later Barnett was conceeding.
By 9.30pm, new WA premier, Mark McGowan had taken the stage at Labor's election party at the Gary Holland Community Centre in Rockingham where he swamped by the party faithful.
He joked that he was yet to have a celebratory drink but was planning to afterwards.
"That's a core promise," he laughed.
Mr McGowan said outside he had already received a call from a "very gracious" Mr Barnett but it took him ten minutes to get to the stage as he was continually mobbed by well wishers.
"I came here 27 years ago in a Toyota Corolla across the Nullabour…today Western Australians voted for hope and opportunity and not desperation and ignorance," he said.
"Today we showed we are a state of decency and intelligence.
"Today Western Australians showed the way for the rest of the country.
"It's time for a fresh approach."
There was massive swings toward Labor in crucial seats of Kalamunda, Belmont, and Mt Lawley.
In the seat of Wanneroo there was an incredible 20 per cent swing towards Labor.
In the Darling Range Labor was sitting on a 19.7 per cent swing.
Just before 8pm Labor's primary vote was 41.7 per cent while the Liberals was a lowly 30.8.
Remarkably, One Nation's primary vote was just 4.6 per cent, more than half of what was predicted.
Former Premier Colin Barnett conceded defeat just before 9pm, saying "politics was a brutal and harsh business".
He said the Liberals were a government of integrity.
The writing was already on the wall before counting even started after a Galaxy Poll for 9 News Perth released just prior to the polls closed showed a landslide win for Labor and its leader Mark McGowan in WA's state election.
The exit poll, taken in key seats across Perth, showed Labor snaring 41 per cent of the vote and the Liberals capturing only 33 per cent.
There was a number of bad omens for the Liberals early in the day.
Premier Colin Barnett manned a BBQ at North Cottesloe Primary school and when he tried to hand a woman a sausage for her roll, she told him she was a vegetarian.
The government were in strife, reflected at a number of polling booths around the metropolitan area, with voters overwhelmingly saying they were voting for Labor.
But Premier Colin Barnett had remained upbeat about the Liberal's chances prior to voting at the Cottlesloe Civic Centre.
"I think one of the great things about Australia, despite the tension of the campaign and a few incidents that happened on voting day...everyone comes out and exercises their democratic right and there is a lot of goodwill after," he said.
"There are plenty of hot dogs for sale and the schools are making a fortune."
Mr Barnett was clinging to the fact one in five voters were still yet to make up their minds before they headed to the polls on Saturday.
"I think the message is the same - I think this is a very good government," he said.
"It's been a very strong economic development government... it's been caring and compassionate for people in need and we have been strong on the environment.
"The protection of the Kimberley is one of the greatest environment achievements in history and it is probably underestimated."
The Premier was quick to shut down any questions about the government's preference deal with One Nation.
Barely a day has gone by on the campaign trail when Mr Barnett hasn't been grilled about the Liberals jumping into bed with One Nation.
"I'm not talking about One Nation, this is about the Liberal party," he said.
"I don't care about Pauline Hanson or One Nation, my opponent is the Labor party and the choice for the people of Western Australian is do you want a Liberal government or do you want to go back to Labor and probably back to 'dullsville'."