Mr Hatton, campaigning against the ALP’s Janet Pettigrew, the successor of the retiring and long-time local member John Kobelke, ran a highly visible campaign on the ground during the weeks leading up to election day. Labor held a 2.2 per cent advantage in a seat long-considered a Labor stronghold.
The polls reflected both his hard work and the swing against WA Labor in general, with Mr Hatton polling 10,452 votes on a two-party preferred basis to Ms Pettigrew’s 7757, a swing of 9.6 per cent.
Mr Hatton said the win was a great outcome for the local community and a reflection on his connection to the electorate.
‘There was a state-wide swing (to the Liberal party) of course, but being a local for 25 years, the issues in the area are the same my family face,’ he said.
His main aim now was to learn from his colleagues as he embarked on his parliamentary career.
Ms Pettigrew admitted she had been struggling to quantify the result, saying she could not yet explain Labor’s crushing defeat on a state-wide level.
‘Everyone we spoke to seemed to be unhappy with Barnett and they thought we had good ideas, but when the day came they voted him back in,’ she said.
‘The Federal factor has an element, but in Balcatta the demographic has definitely changed.
In Carine, incumbent Liberal member Tony Kristicevic strengthened his grip on the seat, more than doubling ALP candidate Sharon Webb’s tally on a two-party-preferred basis, with 68.2 per cent of the vote. Police Minister Liza Harvey won a second term in Scarborough, while in Churchlands, Sean L’Estrange won the seat for the Liberals with 70.7 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.