WA Election: David Michael bowls over Liberal incumbent Chris Hatton to claim Balcatta

Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk, Balcatta MLA-elect David Michael and Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman. Picture: Kate Leaver
Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk, Balcatta MLA-elect David Michael and Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman. Picture: Kate Leaver

LABOR’S David Michael claimed the seat of Balcatta against incumbent Liberal Chris Hatton with 55.81 per cent of the vote in front of an ecstatic crowd at the Osborne Park Bowling Club.

The “Tuart Hill boy” won the traditional Labor seat, which Hatton claimed at the 2013 election, with a 12.9 per cent swing.

Mr Michael received 55.81 per cent of the two-party preferred vote and 45.04 per cent of the primary vote, with 71.39 per cent of the vote counted. Mr Hatton received 38.74 per cent of the primary vote.

Mr Michael addressed the crowd in an emotional speech.

“I ran because I don’t like what the Colin Barnett government was doing to WA,” he said.

“For too long in the northern suburbs we have been missing out on our fair share: on upgrades to Osborne Park Hospital, upgrades to Balcatta Senior High School and critical road infrastructure.”

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Mr Michael was the youngest person elected to the City of Stirling in 2005 at 25 years old and thanked Mayor Giovanni Italiano, calling him a “second father”.

“Thank you to the people of Balcatta for electing me,” he said.

Mirrabooka MLA Janine Freeman and Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk retained their safe Labor seats and attended the same function.

“The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up, this is so exciting… the people are never wrong, the people said yes. People need to be able to feel they are included and have a fair go in the community… for Mirrabooka I am going to jump back into jobs and get the ball rolling on a work participation project with the City of Stirling,” Ms Freeman said.

Ms Freeman, who has held the seat since 2008, claimed a massive 69.25 per cent of the two-party preferred vote against Liberal challenger Lily Chen, who received 30.75 per cent.

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