The regional state seat of Murray-Wellington remains hotly contested between the Labor and Liberal parties, despite Labor candidate Robyn Clarke’s claims of having swept through on Saturday night.
As of Monday, the results remain on a knife-edge, with Ms Clarke on 51.1 per cent and Liberal incumbent Murray Cowper on 48.9 per cent on preferences, with 74.2 per cent of ballots counted.
Mr Cowper was originally hoping to swing through on preferences, with preference votes from the Shooters- Fishers and Farmers, Nationals and independents traditionally supporting Mr Cowper.
However the enormous, state-wide swing to Labor didn’t stop in the metropolitan seats.
Early numbers showed Ms Clarke with a strong early lead, completely eradicating Mr Cowper’s 12 per cent buffer set in the 2013 election.
This led the Labor candidate to declare an early victory over the incumbent, with a 55.9 per cent of the votes.
However, this was only after 30 per cent of the votes were counted.
“I did say at the start of this campaign that the Clarke campaign was going for the seat of Murray-Wellington and Mr Cowper was just a small bump in the road,” Ms Clarke said on the night.
“I’ve smashed him.”
Mr Cowper refused to concede to his opponent, stating preferences would show the support he has from a range of the local community.
“I’ve been here before,” Mr Cowper said.
“I won by just over 190 votes, the first time I won the seat. It took them two weeks to get the result.”
Re-elected Mandurah MP David Templeman believed Ms Clarke would take out the seat.
“If Robyn Clarke is successful – and I sincerely hope she will and I suspect she will – what a tremendous asset she will be to the region,” Mr Templeman said.
“We will actually have three Labor members of government representing the Peel, with Barry Urban now confirmed as member for Darling Range, which takes in the Serpentine-Jarrahdale part of Peel.
“Robyn will be, if she is successful, the second Labor member representing the region and that’s the entire Shire of Murray stretching down to Harvey and the South West, and that will be a huge asset.“
Counting in Murray-Wellington continued on Monday with a result expected by the end of the week.