EAST Metropolitan voters went out on Saturday night to paint the town red, with a landslide election win for WA Labor that has firmly placed Michelle Roberts back in the seat of Midland, which she’s held for 20 years.
The Liberals’ massacre last weekend was a far cry from the 2013 election result, which almost toppled the veteran politician.
An 8.3 per cent swing against Labor in 2013 narrowed Mrs Robert’s margin to 0.5 per cent and a debut by Liberal hopeful Daniel Parasiliti left Mrs Roberts clinging to a narrow lead on two party preferred votes.
Mrs Roberts inched ahead with a handful of votes from the Christian Party and the Greens, and won the seat by a mere 24 votes.
This week a 7.7 swing to Labor in the primary votes gave Mrs Roberts 5882 more votes than Mr Parasiliti.
Last week, online bookmaker Sports Bet tipped Labor as the favourite with Mrs Roberts on $1.17 for a win and the Coalition on $4.50.
A Labor Party member who was scrutineering on polling day told Echo News it had quickly become apparent Mrs Roberts would win the seat as most people took Labor ‘how to vote’ cards.
He said the pre-polling booth, which had opened three weeks before election day also indicated Mrs Roberts would comfortably win.
“The early votes indicated there was a strong shift away from the WA Liberal Government and the election day landslide simply cemented that view.”
Addressing television cameras during a live crosses on election night, Mrs Roberts said voters were really concerned about jobs and the sale of Western Power.
“Jobs and training was one of the big underlying issues worrying people,” she said.
“They were sick of the Barnett Government and they wanted a fresh approach.”
Mrs Roberts said the result gave her a fantastic opportunity to be part of a Labor government and deliver for the region.
Mrs Robert’s win means a raft of pre-election pledges made during the electorate campaign will need to be honoured.
Promises made include $79 million for a new Midland train station, bus depot and extending the line to Bellevue, $25,000 for fencing at Middle Swan Primary School, $40,000 for upgrades for the Midland Lawn Tennis Club and $50,000 for new cricket nets for the Swan View oval.
A $100,000 pledge was given for tourism projects identified by the Guildford Association at the Guildford Tourism Forum, hosted by Michelle Roberts and attended by WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan in October last year.
Mrs Roberts said Guildford was a truly unique historic town and it had a fantastic opportunity to cement itself as a tourism destination.
“This funding commitment will make it possible for the association to promote Guildford through a range of projects including signage, artwork and cultural displays.”
After his narrow loss in 2013, Mr Parasiliti said Mrs Roberts had to work harder if she wanted to keep the seat.
This week, Mr Parasiliti congratulated Mrs Roberts on her win and said he hoped she would fulfil her election commitments to the community.
Mr Parasiliti said it had been a very close race four years ago and although it was not as close this time he was very proud of his campaign and he wanted to thank everyone who supported him.
“It was a very positive campaign and I enjoyed every minute of it.”