Update 2pm: Premier Colin Barnett has vowed to form a Government for the next four years that starts again rather than recirculates plans from the previous term.
Speaking the morning after the conservatives' landslide victory, Mr Barnett said the election was fought primarily on State issues.
But he said Labor made a mistake by not having Prime Minister Julia Gillard in the State during the campaign.
“I believe Mark McGowan made a mistake by not having Julia Gillard in the campaign, but that was his call,” Mr Barnett said.
“Mark McGowan was standing as a Labor leader, and not to have a Labor Prime Minister appear in the State I think actually weakened further the image of Labor in this State.
“You cannot be a Labor or a Liberal leader and then distance yourself from your own party and expect to get elected.”
But Opposition Leader Mark McGowan has refused to blame Federal Labor for his sound defeat in the State election and called for a national debate on how much political parties are allowed to spend on electioneering.
Labor MPs complained bitterly on election night about a final fortnight Liberal advertising and letterbox blitz and while Mr McGowan took responsibility for the defeat, suggested it was a major factor.
“You can’t have a situation where one party can spend three or four times as much as another party and also have the benefit of publicly funded political advertising,” he said.
“It doesn’t really make it particularly fair in a democratic system and I think nationally we need to look at all these issues, it’s not a fair playing field and I think it also skews government decision-making.”
Mr McGowan said he expected the WA Labor caucus to meet on Thursday or Friday once all results were known. He hoped to stay on as leader but believed all portfolio positions would be “discussed”.
“I’ll be standing for the leadership again, it’s up to my colleagues of course who they prefer to have as leader and it’s a democratic process,” he said.
Mr McGowan said he took full responsibility for the loss, despite his parliamentary colleagues linking it to Federal Labor on election night.
“I take responsibility for the outcome,” he said.
“I’m not going to blame anyone else, I’m not going to say it was anyone else’s fault, I’m not going to blame any other level of government.
“I’m the leader. I said it was a State campaign.”
Recalling that Geoff Gallop lost to Richard Court in 1996 but bounced back from that 19-seat representation to win in 2001 by picking up 15 seats, Mr McGowan said the 2017 election was “entirely winnable”.
“In the democratic system anything is possible as long as you work hard, point out an alternative and draw to attention the deficiencies of the Government and that will be our role over the next four years,” he said.
Ms Gillard issued a brief, terse statement congratulating Mr Barnett and saying she “acknowledged” Mr McGowan.
Mr Barnett said he believed Labor was a damaged brand, but it was not an election in which Federal issues determined the result.
“Federal issues were there as a factor but they were not a determining factor,” he said.
"This is certainly better news for Tony Abbott than Julia Gillard.
"But there has been some interpretation that it is all about Federal issues and that is not the case."
Mr Barnett said it would be some days before ministries were determined.
That would not happen until all seats had been decided.
Mr Barnett said he will start his new term of office with a clean slate - but also a bulging in-tray.
The destination of billions of dollars in regional funding, the future of the State’s embattled farmers, and the potential for new ministerial faces will all be immediate agenda items when Mr Barnett reforms Government this week.
He said the Liberal/National alliance had worked well. He would talk to Nationals Leader Brendan Grylls in the next few days about Government and ministries.
Mr Grylls won a massive personal victory in the Pilbara, securing a 16 per cent swing, but has still not been guaranteed to keep the regional development portfolio in which he steered the fundamental Royalties for Regions program.
Mr Barnett hinted strongly there would a more Liberal imprint on where the Royalties for Regions money would flow.
“The focus will be more on basic services, country roads, rail upgrades, power distribution - those fundamental services, I think there is a need,” Mr Barnett said.
"This is a new start not another term of Government," Mr Barnett said.
"It is not a matter of saying there a whole lot of bills from the previous government.
"In every sense it is a new Government."
Mr Barnett’s major election promises of a new airport rail line, a tram line from Perth’s north to the city and a highway from Perth to Darwin are all dependent on billions of dollars of Federal money.
But the Premier preferred to reiterate his personal commitment to take up the plight of farmers, rather than focus on the big election promises.
And he said he was also expecting knocks on the door from several new Liberal MPs.
“I hope I have got a lot of ambitious backbenchers. There will be competition and that is good for the long-term future of the Liberal Party,” Mr Barnett said.
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