Former West Coast Eagles star David Wirrpanda this afternoon remained hopeful of success in his senate bid but said even if unelected he is not quitting politics just yet.
The Nationals candidate is a favourite to knock off Greens’ incumbent Scott Ludlam for the sixth and final spot in the WA senate but results may not be known for weeks.
“I’d love to, I’d love to continue on (in politics),” Mr Wirrpanda, 34, told The West Australian at a polling booth in Wembley today.
“I’ve really got a lot out of campaigning, there’s a lot there that I’m really keen on doing.”
“I suppose it will be an option when I sit down and look at the other areas, of continuing on in different areas, whether it’s politically, or I go back and continue on with what we’ve been doing with our foundation.”
Mr Wirrpanda heads a foundation working to empower Australian Aboriginal people.
He said he wanted to represent the Nationals in Canberra to make sure WA received its “fair share” of the benefits of the offshore oil and gas boom.
He said during the campaign he had worked to build the Nationals brand in metro areas.
“In the Kimberley and Pilbara it’s very strong, in country regions and regional WA but really bringing that brand up into the metro region was one of my targets personally as well.”
Mr Wirrpanda’s start power was evident as he visited booths around the city today.
Everyone wanted to talk about footy, he said. But people also recognised him for his work with the foundation.
After four and a half months of campaigning, he said he was excited to see the results.
“It’s just exciting to be able to sit back later this afternoon, look at what direction it’s going. We may have a new leader, the whole structure of the country may change, it’s quite exciting to see that unfold.”
Senator Scott Ludlam today conceeded the Wikileaks party’s decision to preference Nationals over the Greens may have affected his chance of success.
“It is a very complex fall of preferences as parties get excluded,” Mr Ludlam said.
“To be completely honest I think they did more damage to themselves than they did to us, but it’s still not particularly helpful and I think it dismayed a lot of their supporters as well.”
The staggering number of “micro-parties” in this year’s election are predominately conservative, Mr Ludlam said.
“What’s happening is that people are fabricating front parties, tiny little shell entities that basically harvest preferences across to the far right,” he said.
“Nobody on the progressive side of politics does that, which is just as well but that’s the reason the ballot paper is a metre across.”
He said defending environmental legislation would be his biggest priority if re-elected.