LABOR’S Patrick Gorman won the federal seat of Perth on Saturday with just under 40 per cent of the primary vote as apathetic voters failed to get enthused about a Liberal-free election.
The Greens’ Caroline Perks came second with 18.76 per cent of the primary vote and independent Paul Collins was third with 9.53 per cent. Postal votes were still to be counted.
Mr Gorman said he was truly honoured to win, but now it was time to get to work.
Ms Perks announced on Monday she’d be contesting the next federal election.
“Large parts of the electorate voted for the Greens and it’s clear from the low turnout that people are sick of politics as usual, so I’ll be here for the federal election to keep offering a different voice that is truly for people and planet – not corporate profit.”
The next election has to be held before May 18, 2019.
Mr Collins, a Liberal party member who decided to run when the Blues didn’t field a candidate, said “to finish third in a field of 15 was a very, very pleasing result for the limited time and resources available to me”.
He said “it does give confidence to those candidates who have a community connection… it’s a vote of confidence in a strong community candidate”.
Mr Collins, president of the Mt Lawley Society, did have an outright win on home ground: amassing 235 primary votes to Labor’s 205 at the polling booth at St Paul’s Primary School.
Liberal Democrats’ Wesley Du Preez got 6.69 per cent of the primary vote. The libertarian-esque party also did well in Fremantle with 14 per cent;
Another Perth contender, Ian Britza, has already announced he’d contest the next federal election, changing the name of his campaign Facebook page from “Ian Britza for Perth” to “Ian Britza – Senate for Western Australia”.
It was a record low turnout this year with only 64 per cent of 100,737 potential electors voting.
There was also a massive number of “informal votes”, with 6,421 people either ballsing up their ballot or drawing a willy on it.
That’s 10 per cent of all votes going in the bin; compared to an informal vote rate of 3.77 per cent at the last federal election in 2016.
by DAVID BELL