Libs and Hanson count cost
INCOMING West Australian premier Mark McGowan looks like securing about 40 seats in the 59-seat Parliament after an unprecedented 16% swing against the Liberals in Saturday's election.
Federal Opposition frontbencher Mark Butler summed up the mood of Labor supporters yesterday when he described the victory as "stunning”.
"Landslide is sometimes a term a bit overused in Australian elections, but this is genuinely a landslide,” Mr Butler told ABC television.
While the result was a disaster for the Liberals, with 18 of their seats going to Labor and six ministers in danger of losing their seats, it also left One Nation leader Pauline Hanson highly critical of her party's preference swap with the Liberals.
One Nation lost support as the campaign went on, diving from about 13% in an opinion poll last month to securing just under 5% of the vote in the election itself.
It appears to have missed out in the Lower House and although it may secure one or more seats in the Upper House, the party had been talking about holding the balance of power.
Senator Hanson, who spent the past week campaigning in WA, denied controversial comments she made on vaccination and Russian President Vladimir Putin were factors in her party's performance.
"Doing the deal with the Libs has done damage to us, in all honesty. It was a mistake,” she said.
"We are really going to have to have a good look at this because all I heard all day leading up to this election was 'why are you sending your preferences to the Liberal Party?'
"It wasn't One Nation. I think it was Colin Barnett - people did not want Colin Barnett.”
Although admitting One Nation's campaign had started late and its candidates were inexperienced, Ms Hanson remained upbeat.
"You can't deny that we've done extremely well here,” she said. "There is a place for One Nation in Western Australia, so it can only grow from here.”