Former City of Vincent mayor John Carey has won the seat of Perth, crediting a positive, grassroots campaign for delivering the inner-city electorate back to the Labor party.
“We didn’t have many Labor people, we had a lot of locals, we had Liberals working on our campaign,” Mr Carey said.
He said his track record in government helped him overcome a smear campaign.
“The Liberals threw everything they could at me,” he said.
“But my community knew me.
“When you do negative politics it comes back and bites you on the bum.”
He said concern about the economy and a lack of confidence in politics were the main concerns constituents raised with him during his campaign.
“The general thing was how did this government get into such a dire straights with the finances after eight years?
“That was a big concern but when you door knock there are a lot of people who are disenfranchised with politics and we ran a completely positive campaign. I did [nothing] negative against my opponent, it was a positive campaign.
“I wanted to raise the standard of politics.”
The traditional safe Labor seat was lost to the Liberal’s Eleni Evangel in 2013 with a margin of just 2.8 percent. Mr Carey secured 48 percent of the primary vote with 52.76 percent of votes counted.
Speaking earlier in the week, Ms Evangel said she had done everything she could during her time in government.
“I’ve been told many times in recent weeks that there is nothing that I could’ve done more as the member of Perth,” she said.
“In my heart of hearts I know I have done everything possible to represent my electorate in the best possible manner.”
Mr Carey earlier said that while a cabinet position may be a “future dream,” he was not expecting a spot on the front bench.
“Absolutely not, no,” he said when asked if he would seek a cabinet position.
“I want to be the best local member I can be for the Perth electorate, that’s what I’m interested in.”