“They (La­bor) have had an em­phatic, con­vinc­ing vic­tory”:

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - Sto­ries by JON BAS­SETT

THE emo­tion of de­feat flick­ered on the face of for­mer pre­mier Colin Bar­nett as he started his State Elec­tion con­ces­sion speech and con­grat­u­lated La­bor’s Mark Mcgowan on his vic­tory, at Cottes­loe Golf Club in Swan­bourne on Satur­day.

“There were a lot of fac­tors out there, but at the end of the day, time was a fac­tor,” Mr Bar­nett said about his view of the ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to his loss of gov­ern­ment af­ter eight and a half years.

Yes­ter­day, his for­mer Lib­er­al­na­tional al­liance was on track to have lost at least 20 seats, with seven oth­ers still un­de­cided, af­ter an his­toric swing to La­bor.

With count­ing con­tin­u­ing yes­ter­day, the Lib­eral’s pri­mary vote had fallen at least 15.7 per cent, while La­bor’s had climbed 9.7 per cent.

With 73 per cent of the vote counted in his ul­tra-safe Cottes­loe elec­torate yes­ter­day, the two-party pre­ferred re­sult had Mr Bar­nett with 12,374 votes (63.85 per cent) and La­bor’s Caitlin Collins 7007 votes (36.15 per cent).

“Firstly can I con­grat­u­late Mark Mcgowan and the La­bor Party,” Mr Bar­nett said at the club.

“They have had an em­phatic, con­vinc­ing vic­tory.”

Re­view­ing his premiership, Mr Bar­nett said he had given it his “best shot”, and he had led a prode­vel­op­ment and car­ing gov­ern­ment with in­tegrity.

He said he wanted to be pre­mier when he first en­tered pol­i­tics, and was now among the long­est-serv­ing lead­ers of the State, with five prime min­is­te­rial changes in his time.

“Maybe that will now be a rare oc­cur­rence, that some­one will hold that po­si­tion for so long,” he said of his time in the top job.

Walk­ing around the club with a drink in hand, he per­son­ally thanked many of his loyal sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing his long-serv­ing elec­torate sec­re­tary Nina Cur­tis.

He left anal­y­sis of is­sues that caused the re­sult, in­clud­ing the con­tro­ver­sial pref­er­ence deal with One Na­tion, State fi­nances, the $5 mining levy floated by the Na­tion­als and the Perth Freight Link, to party guests.

Pic­tures: Jon Bas­sett

Colin Bar­nett con­cedes de­feat in the 2017 elec­tion.

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