Liberals retain two northern suburbs seats despite huge swing to Labor


Picture: Martin Kennealey
Picture: Martin Kennealey

WA Labor grabbed one of its biggest swings in Wanneroo in the State Election, winning the electorate held by Liberal MP Paul Miles for the past eight years.

Sabine Winton was one of the early winners on election night, securing 58 per cent of the vote after preferences to oust Mr Miles, who had won 61 per cent at the 2013 election.

Ms Winton said she was humbled by the result, praising the people involved in the “grassroots campaign” and the win would mean important changes for the electorate.

“It’s been a really long, hard, wonderful campaign,” she said.

“We need jobs in Wanneroo and we need to reduce congestion.”

Speaking to the Times in Wanneroo on Saturday night, Mr Miles said there had been fewer people at polling booths on Election Day, with more choosing to vote early or by post.

While he hoped that might mean more Liberal votes would come through this week, he acknowledged the swing to the opposition.

“I always suspected that I could possibly have an 8-9 per cent swing against me,” he said.

The swing towards Labor was evident across the northern suburbs, with former Ocean Reef MLA Albert Jacob conceding defeat to Labor’s Mark Folkard in the Burns Beach electorate.

With about 66 per cent of votes counted, Mr Folkard won almost 53 per cent on the two-candidate preferred basis.

Two of the most tightly contested northern suburbs seats were Joondalup and Kingsley, where both Liberal MPs won more primary votes according to the count so far, but their Labor opponents were ahead after preferences.

Joondalup’s Jan Norberger had tallied almost 8700 votes with 75 per cent counted by noon today, while Labor candidate Emily Hamilton had almost 8000.

Under preferences, the two were sitting about 1.1 per cent apart, with Ms Hamilton ahead on 50.55 per cent.

“It’s been a gruelling campaign; the seat of Joondalup has been in the focus,” Mr Norberger said.

“I’ve done best to represent the electorate, not just in a six-week campaign but in the four-year period.”

Mr Norberger said it was humbling when people came up to him to say “thank you” during the campaign.

In Kingsley, with 80 per cent of the count completed, Andrea Mitchell won about 8700 votes compared to about 8200 for Labor’s Jessica Stojkovski.

However, on the two-candidate preferred basis, Mrs Stojkovski was ahead with almost 51 per cent of total votes.

“I’m shocked and humbled and overwhelmed by the faith that the Kingsley community has put in me and by the support that I have received from a very dedicated, passionate group of volunteers,” the Labor candidate said.

Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk has won almost 67 per cent of the preference votes to retain the Labor seat for a fifth term, having served since 2001.

The Liberal Party kept hold of two northern suburbs seats, with Carine MLA Tony Krstecevic winning almost 60 per cent of votes as the count passed 72 per cent of total electors.

Former North Metropolitan MLC Peter Katsambanis won Hillarys for the party, ousting independent Rob Johnson.

On preferences, Mr Katsambanis sits comfortably ahead of his Labor opponent Teresa Ritchie, with almost 54 per cent of votes going to the Liberals when the vote.

Forced to defend a 2.50am phone message (or voicemail) to Mr Johnson on Sunday in which he said “enjoy the rest of your life”, Mr Katsambanis used Facebook to thank his supporters.

“Tomorrow I will get to work representing you and I will fight tooth and nail to get the best deal for our area,” he said.

Butler MLA John Quigley is celebrating an 18 per cent swing of support towards WA Labor.

With 64 per cent of the vote counted by noon, Mr Quigley had beaten his Liberal opponent Linda Aitken comfortably, winning almost 70 per cent of the vote on preferences.

In 2013, the margin was narrower with the Labor MP winning almost 52 per cent of the final vote.

Celebrating with supporters at Quinns Rocks Sports Club on Saturday night, Mr Quigley said the previous government had ignored the Butler electorate.

“I’m very humbled by the size of the swing towards me and the thousands of people and families who have put faith in me to deliver on infrastructure,” he said.

“I’m hopeful of a senior position within Premier Mark McGowan’s cabinet.

“I will use that position to argue strongly for the facilities that families need in our electorate.”