Only one Federal seat changed hands in WA as Tony Abbott's Liberal-National coalition stormed to power in yesterday's Federal Election.
The Liberals appear to have taken O'Connor from The Nationals, with Rick Wilson grabbing 51.23 per cent of the two party preferred vote compared to Chub Witham's 48.77 per cent, with nearly 75 per cent of the vote counted.
Despite Labor having concerns about the fate of senior Government minister Gary Gray in Brand, he retained the seat and increased his margin.
And in Hasluck, the Liberal's Ken Wyatt was returned, dashing Labor hopes that it would grab the seat after a concerted effort by the Maritime Union of Australia to have Adrian Evans elected.
Former state infrastructure minister Alannah MacTiernan withstood a swing in Perth, and Melissa Parke stood firm in Fremantle.
Labor party faithful cheered and stomped as Ms MacTiernan declared a win in the seat of Perth last night – defying a national Labor rout.
Ms MacTiernan told a gathered crowd at a post-election bash that Labor must rebuild its brand following a period of upheaval.
“I know that we can rebuild Labor. I know this really incredibly vexed time we have had over the past four years can be put behind us,” she said.
Durack emerged as a tight contest but with Liberal candidate Melissa Price in front of The Nationals’ Shane Van Styn.
Mr Gray, who was the most likely Labor MP to lose his seat going into polling day, withstood a well-resourced challenge from real estate agent Donna Gordin for the Liberals.
Ms Gordin failed in her second tilt at the seat after campaigning for the best part of five years in what will loom as a bitter defeat for Liberal Party strategists, who poured enormous time and money into the seat.
As Kevin Rudd conceded the Government’s defeat, the mood was sombre at Mr Gray’s post-election party at the Gary Holland Community Centre in Rockingham, where his supporters were still eagerly awaiting a result.
But at 8pm, when 40 per cent of the vote had been counted, Mr Gray entered the room to applause and announced there had been a small swing towards him.
“It appears I have held the seat and it appears my vote has increased, which is very heartening after a long and arduous campaign,” Mr Gray said.
“I am pleased to be elected for another three-year term and I will work as hard as I can for the people of Rockingham, Kwinana and Mandurah.”
In one of the biggest disappointments for Labor in WA, former MUA official Mr Evans suffered a 4 per cent swing against him in Hasluck.
The probable outcome, based on 73 per cent of votes counted, came despite a massive effort by the ALP to retake the south east metropolitan seat it lost at the 2010 Federal election.
Mr Wyatt had collected 54.49 per cent of the primary vote, while he was ahead of Mr Evans 55 per cent to 45.51 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis.
As part of much-publicised moves, the MUA plunged more than $250,000 into Labor’s campaign for the seat in a bid to elevate Mr Evans into Parliament and lift its influence within the party.
Incoming Pearce Liberal MP Christian Porter has vowed to fight changes to the GST which could cost the WA Government $1.6 billion over the next four years as his first priority in Canberra.
A former Barnett Government treasurer and attorney general, Mr Porter was last night all-but assured of a thumping victory over Labor’s Madeleine West in the seat vacated by Judi Moylan.
Mr Porter immediately played down any chance he would be elevated to Tony Abbott’s ministry or even receive a parliamentary secretary position, insisting his "absolute" expectation would be to stay on the backbench for the Coalition’s first term.
Nearly one in four voters abandoned the Greens in the lower house. The party suffered a 3.2 per cent swing against it and recorded just 9.7 per cent of the vote.
The Palmer United Party picked up 5.5 per cent of the primary vote.
Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop, who tonight became WA’s most senior politician and will this week be sworn in as foreign minister, said Tony Abbott would restore strong, stable government to Australia.
“After six years of Labor, people have been so bitterly disappointed with the chaos and dysfunction and are looking for certainty and stability and competence in government, and that’s what Tony Abbott and the team can deliver,” she said.