To shouts of ‘four more years’ at Cottesloe’s Sea View Golf Course, Mr Barnett accepted victory by thanking Labor leader Mark McGowan for providing a ‘real choice’ for voters in a tough, six-week campaign, five years after Mr Barnett was to originally leave politics for a new career.
‘We may have achieved what seems to be a comfortable result but I assure you it was not comfortable at all times through the election,’ Mr Barnett said.
With 77 per cent of ballots counted, Mr Barnett’s two-party preferred vote in his Cottesloe electorate had increased 3.4 per cent from 69.4 per cent in 2008.
With 2203 votes, a challenge by independent Kevin Morgan appeared to eat into Labor’s support, which dropped 5.5 per cent (2238 votes), and the Greens, which dropped 7.3 per cent to 1824 votes.
However, Mr Morgan said his analysis indicated his 13.9 per cent of the ballot yesterday came from Liberal voters.
He said Greens and Labor support reflected statewide swings away from those parties and he was now ‘seriously’ considering creating a ‘right-wing greens party’ for disgruntled Liberal voters.
‘I’m still confident I will get second place because I’ll pick up Greens preferences and pass Labor eventually,’ he said.
‘There’s still a quarter of the vote to count.’
In Nedlands, Mr Marmion had a l13.9 per cent swing to him despite the presence of independent Max Hipkins (2390 votes or 13.9 per cent).
Mr Hipkins agreed independents appeared to cannibalise Labor (2213 votes in Nedlands) and Greens (2376) in safe Liberal seats.
‘We expected the non-Liberals to get more than 50 per cent of the primary vote (in Nedlands) but the swing to the Government prevented that,’ he said.
Political analyst Darren Brown said the result in Cottesloe showed how an independent could polarise support in favour of an incumbent candidate.