Liberal Zak Kirkup has declared victory in the seat of Dawesville amid a statewide swing to Labor in Saturday’s landslide election.
With more than 80 per cent of the vote counted, Mr Kirkup was in an unassailable position on Wednesday and led Labor’s Adam Woodage by 588 votes.
He thanked the community of Dawesville for placing their trust in him and said he was looking forward to the hard work ahead.
“It’s a sense of relief that we’re through the count but I’m also overwhelmed and humbled by the confidence the people of the district of Dawesville have put in me,” he said.
“I’m just glad we’re through this and the hard work can start to make sure I stand up and represent our community with the incoming Labor government.”
Mr Kirkup said he was shocked by the size of the swing against the Liberal party across the state, but said there had not been a noticeable pro-Labor sentiment in Dawesville where to swing for the new government was only four per cent.
“In places like Nedlands and Cottesloe we’ve seen 12 and 15 per cent swings to Labor,” he said.
“I certainly didn’t pick up, when I was meeting thousands of people, that there was a pro-Labor feel, but I am shocked by the result across Western Australia and I’m just glad we worked as hard as we did.”
He said the lesson in Saturday’s election was to “never stop listening”.
“Never stop listening and never stop working hard to take action to respond to concerns people have,” he said.
Mr Kirkup said he would keep fighting for the commitments the Liberal party made during the campaign, such as a shark barrier for Falcon Bay beach, which were now in doubt because of Labor’s win.
“Yesterday the Premier-elect Mark McGowan said he would govern for all Western Australians and not just those who voted for him,” he said.
“I said I would fight for each of these commitments and I look forward to working with the incoming government where we can to make sure they’re rolled out, to make sure that Mark McGowan is held to account on his promise to govern for all Western Australians, that’s why we’ve been voted in, that’s why we’ve bucked the trend here, because we’ve worked hard to listen.
“I look forward to working in particular with David Templeman to see what we can do to get those rolled out here in Dawesville.”
Mr Kirkup will take office with reduced numbers in the Liberal party, with projections putting him as one of only 13 Liberal members of the lower house when the dust settles on the election.
But Mr Kirkup said he would not be seeking to be appointed a shadow minister, instead choosing to concentrate on working for his electorate.
“I want to be absolutely devoted to our community for the forseeable future to make sure we do everything we can to get those commitments from the government, to roll out those promises that we made and to make sure I’m learning the ropes as a first term backbench member of the opposition,” he said.
“The driving factor ultimately is that I want to represent our community first and that is all that matters to me.”