Pauline Hanson last night conceded One Nation’s preference deal with the Liberals had “damaged” her party’s result.
The Queensland Senator likened the unpopularity of outgoing premier Colin Barnett to putrid milk, saying: “All I heard all day was, ‘Why are sending your preferences to the Liberal party?’
“I think it was more Colin Barnett. The people here did not want Colin Barnett. He should have stepped aside.
“It’s like when you’ve got milk in your fridge and it starts to go sour, that’s what it was like with Colin Barnett.”
After polling a Statewide primary vote of just 4.7 per cent, One Nation was last night still hopeful of winning at least one Upper House seat.
At 10.30pm, One Nation’s leader in WA Colin Tincknell claimed victory for the Upper House South West seat.
“It’s been a difficult run these last 50 days but when you’ve got Pauline behind you it makes all the difference,” Mr Tincknell said.
“We’re so committed to what she stands for and she’s brought those values to WA.”
He was hopeful One Nation would also pick up seats in the Mining and Pastoral region.
The party is hoping for at least three seats in the Legislative Council.
Mr Tincknell said the party’s Mining and Pastoral candidate Robin Scott had won his seat, reaching the quota without preferences.
Mr Scott said he had been confident of a clear win until the preference deal.
“The preference deal made it extremely difficult for me. It should never have happened,” Mr Scott said.
A One Nation spokesman said Rod Caddies would win an Agricultural seat with the help of Liberal preferences.
Addressing her party faithful at the Melville Bowling Club earlier, Senator Hanson said: “There is a place for One Nation on the political landscape in WA.”
She said though her party’s efforts would “not translate into seats in the Lower House”, she was hopeful One Nation would have a presence in the Legislative Council.
“This is the start of One Nation in WA,” she said. “We can only go up from here and we will grow.”
A Statewide vote for the Labor Party of more than 40 per cent will increase the new government’s stocks in the Upper House from 11 seats.
In metropolitan Perth, Labor’s high primary vote could mean the party will win as many as three seats in each region. Double-digit swings to sitting Labor MPs in the far south of Perth will win the
party three seats in the South Metropolitan Region.
As the new Opposition, the Liberal Party will lose several seats in Perth, including in the North Metropolitan region, where the party won four of six seats on offer in 2013, and could be reduced to one seat in the South Metropolitan region.
A steady Nationals vote in regional WA will mean the party retains five Upper House seats.
Support for minor parties and independents was at just over 8 per cent.
Premier-elect Mark McGowan’s thumping victory last night would have been slightly soured by growing concerns over the make up of the Legislative Council.
An elaborate preference deal designed to get minor parties elected off small primary votes appeared to have paid off last night with early predictions showing Fluoride Free WA and Liberal Democrats candidates on target to become MPs.
The preference deal, brokered by “preference whisperer” Glenn Druery, involved minor parties and independents trading votes in regions.
It came under fire when it was revealed one of the parties involved ran members as independents as part of a campaign strategy.