LIVE: State Election 2017 – Labor wins Government

Mark McGowan with his family on Saturday night. Photo: Rachel Fenner
Mark McGowan with his family on Saturday night. Photo: Rachel Fenner

MARK McGowan will be the 30th Premier of Western Australia, after leading the WA Labor party to a landslide victory over Colin Barnett’s Liberals on Saturday night.

Needing a 10-seat swing to form Government, Labor has picked up at least 11 from the Liberals, with Balcatta, Belmont, Bunbury, Darling Range, Forrestfield, Morley, Mt Lawley, Perth, Southern River, Swan Hills and Wanneroo all falling.

“Thank you to the people of Western Australia – you have been magnificent,” Mr McGowan said after entering his Rockingham headquarters to the strains of AC/DC’s TNT.

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“It has been a long hard road for me and my team.

“To our successful candidates and members, congratulations – enjoy the moment.

“This was a truly great campaign.”

Mr McGowan thanked his family and political mentors Bob Hawke, Geoff Gallop and Kim Beazley, before paying tribute to the outgoing Premier.

“Can I especially acknowledge Premier Colin Barnett on his many, many years of public service both as a minister and as Premier of Western Australia,” he said.

“Thank you Colin, on behalf of the people of Western Australia.”

Mr Barnett, who was WA Premier for eight-and-a-half years, addressed Liberal supporters at the Cottesloe Golf Club at 8.50pm to concede the election, and wished his successor well.

“Firstly can I congratulate Mark McGowan and the Labor Party,” Mr Barnett said.

“They have had an emphatic, convincing victory.

“I do sincerely congratulate them and I wish them well.

“We ran, in my view, a great campaign – there were a lot of factors out there, but at the end of the day time was probably the factor.”

After his concession speech Mr Barnett personally thanked many of his loyal supporters, including his long-serving secretary Nina Curtis.

Reviewing his premiership, Mr Barnett said he had given it his “best shot”, and he had led a pro-development and caring Government.

Colin Barnett’s concession speech. Photo: Jon Bassett

Deputy Labor leader Roger Cook said the win was the greatest in the State party’s history, given the 10 seat swing it had to achieve.

A large cheer went up and some Labor supporters cried and embraced as political analysts started calling the election for the party amid a huge swing.

“Coming off the back of a 10 per cent deficit it’s an incredible result,” Mr Cook told AAP.

“This goes beyond the (Geoff) Gallop victory in 2001, given the size of the swing and we are coming from 10 seats down to a point where we are now looking at a 4-5 seat majority, that’s a huge result, it feels amazing.”

ABC election analyst Antony Green called the election for Labor just an hour-and-a-half after the polls closed.

Green said the Liberal Party’s first preference vote was down 16 per cent statewide, with some seats showing a 20-30 per cent drop.

“I think at this stage we can say the Labor Party will win this election,” Green said on the ABC at exactly 7.30pm.

Mr McGowan had been predicted to lead Labor to a decisive win.

And things certainly looked good for Labor early in the evening, with Liberal MLA for the key battleground seat of Southern River Peter Abetz conceding his seat on radio station 6PR.

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When 6PR journalist Gareth Parker put it to Mr Abetz that if Southern River is gone, the Government is gone he responded “I agree”.

Mr Abetz said it was “fair to say my seat is lost” on radio station 6PR, barely an hour after polls had closed.

Labor congratulated John Carey for winning the seat of Perth.

The party also called the seat of Belmont for Cassie Rowe.

The hits kept coming for the Government, with David Michael taking the seat from Liberal Chris Hatton.

Tony Simpson was another Liberal member to fall, losing out in Darling Range.

Both emergency services minister Joe Francis – who is still battling to hold his seat of Jandakot – and Deputy Premier Liza Harvey have said they would stand for the party leadership should Mr Barnett decide to stand down.

The Liberals did have a win in Bateman, with controversial former transport minister Dean Nalder winning the seat.

The Liberals’ preference deal with One Nation was criticised in many quarters throughout the campaign.

Liberal Michael Sutherland, who lost his seat of Mt Lawley, lamented the fact his party had done a deal with One Nation.

He said the deal was “out of our hands” and “one of those things I had to deal with”.