CURTIN MHR Julie Bishop is more secure in her western and coastal suburbs seat after recording a 2.8 per cent increase in votes at the inconclusive Federal Election on Saturday.
“I love this electorate, and I’m so very proud to represent them in Canberra, and if there is an increased majority, then I’m very proud to have received that level of support,” Ms Bishop told the Western Suburbs Weekly.
Liberal Ms Bishop, the Foreign Minister, received 68.22 per cent of the two-party preferred vote in Curtin, while Labor’s Melissa Callanan had 28.99 per cent (down 2.79 per cent), the Greens 13.76 per cent (down 1 per cent) and anti-Perth Freight Link campaigner Sandra Boulter 2.7 per cent.
Vote counting restarts tomorrow, and the slim chances of a Coalition or Labor majority government depends on late postal votes for nine undecided seats and talks with crossbenchers, including three independents and centrist Nick Xenophon.
Ms Bishop blamed the shock loss of the Coalition’s majority on Labor’s “monstrous lie” Medicare was to be privatised, which was even believed at strong Liberal-voting booths she visited in Curtin.
However, her party’s right wing pointed its finger at proposed changes to superannuation capping lifetime contributions to $500,000.
Ms Bishop said the changes would have ensured superannuation was used for retirement income and as an aged-pension supplement, instead of tax-minimisation or as an estate-planning scheme, but she would listen to the concerns of her electorate on the issue.
A week of talks with crossbenchers is forecast, and Ms Bishop said an “engaging” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had lifetime of experience in negotiating, and he would have the interests of all Australians in mind.
She said concluding the election’s result could determine whether she represented Australian victims and families of the MH17 Ukrainian air disaster at memorials for its second anniversary next week.