Update 10.40am: When Mark McGowan backed a scaled-down waterfront development, Eleni Evangel knew the seat of Perth could be won.
"The next day I had that many people say to me, 'I was going to vote Labor but now I'm voting Liberal'," the 47-year-old Perth councillor, businesswoman and mother of three said yesterday. "People are over it. They just want to see something happen down there."
Already sensing a shift in dynamics as more professionals and young families moved into new city apartments and the area was gentrified, Ms Evangel said the comments were a turning point.
Labor's decision to scrap the planned new WA Museum was also unpopular, she said.
"For the first time we're actually seeing our city being transformed into a world-class city," she said.
John Hyde this morning rejected the notion that Labor's backing of a scaled-down waterfront cost him the seat, saying people were against the "closure" of Riverside Drive and it was not a "vote changer".
"I've done more door knocking and phone calling in this election than any time - people were against the closure of Riverside Drive, they're against the mediocrity of Mr Barnett's plans for the waterfront, but it wasn't a vote changer," he told 6PR Radio.
However, Mr Hyde admitted Labor had been perceived as "anti-inner city", including its position to scrap a planned new WA Museum to fund a sports stadium in Subiaco.
"I said to my colleagues 14 months ago: if we'd try and get a narrative that Mr Barnett is focused on the CBD, I said don't use the word 'inner city'," Mr Hyde said.
"Those of us that live Highgate, North Perth, Mt Lawley, Leederville - we think of ourselves as inner city whereas quite often people from the burbs and the western suburbs just think it's CBD.
"I was certainly getting a lot of throw back when the rhetoric out of State Labor was too much emphasis on CBD-inner city, so clearly people that live in the CBD and inner city got the wrong perception that Labor wasn't looking after them."
Mr Hyde said as with State Brisbane and Adelaide seats, gentrification had changed the demographics of the electorate.
He said 50 per cent of voters did not vote in the electorate in 2008.
"When you've got gentrification, when you've got people moving into $2 million apartments, apart 14 months ago Perth really became a 10 per cent Liberal seat," he said.
"We were able to fight back, possibly had our noses in front three or four weeks ago. But I think I'd always believed deep down we'd probably lose by two percentage points.
"Unfortunately I wasn't able to convince my comrades and colleagues in the party a year ago that this is what was going to happen."
In a remarkable feat, Ms Evangel produced a 10.3 per cent swing to oust three-term Labor MP John Hyde and win Perth for the Liberals for the first time in 45 years.
While Mr Hyde went to ground yesterday and he and Mr McGowan have not conceded the seat, Ms Evangel and the Liberals were celebrating.
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi congratulated Ms Evangel and said it gave the Barnett Government a significant mandate on Elizabeth Quay.
She said the election result was also definitive for independent candidates in other State seats campaigning against the project.In Cottesloe, local mayor Kevin Morgan polled 11.7 per cent of the primary vote, and the results were equally low for City of Nedlands mayor Max Hipkins in Nedlands (13.9 per cent), Greg Ross in Kalamunda (5.6 per cent) and Wayne Monks in Churchlands (8.3 per cent).
We are now in a position to call Belmont. Welcome to the Legislative Assembly, Glenys Godfrey! #wapol #wavotes
RT @clairecomrie: There's no scenario where Farrer loses from here based on the count last night in Broome @G_Parker @ash_gillon
View the latest edition of Regional Report online here - http://t.co/UoPvohAuBE
@InfernoJourno @hillierme Was in the chamber for about half of Moore's looong but interesting speech.
@Rozzhoff of course! I'm definitely his favourite now @locoisms
Salvos survey shows major parties can't stay silent on housing crisis http://t.co/HxU3zCZOWy … #Greens #auspol #wapol
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