Wilson wins Freo

LABOR’S Josh Wilson comfortably held onto the seat of Fremantle at last Saturday’s federal election.

At the time of going to print Mr Wilson had 57.86 per cent of the vote after preferences, while Liberal party candidate Nicole Robins had 42.14.

While Mr Wilson enjoyed a tiny positive swing overall, he suffered a 1.53 per cent drop in his primary vote.

The Liberal’s primary vote was also down 2.34 per cent since the last election.

It was a disappointing night for the Greens in Fremantle with candidate Jesse Hutchinson suffering a -2.18 per cent swing; unable to capitalise on a national positive swing towards the party.

One Nation’s Brett Weary got 3.57 per cent of the primary vote and Clive Palmer’s Fatima Lever 1.87.

But victory bittersweet

DESPITE Josh Wilson comfortably holding onto Fremantle, there was a muted atmosphere at the Fremantle Bowls Club last Saturday, as his team and supporters realised it was going to be dismal night for Labor overall.

“This is not the speech I hoped to give,” Mr Wilson told the party faithful at the club.

“It hasn’t been the day we hoped it would be…We made an argument, we asked the Australian people to trust a Labor government to deliver what we need–which was momentous and positive change.

“Over the last three years Labor has consulted widely, carefully designed, and widely communicated the most forward-looking and progressive policy platform that I can remember.

Proud

“We should be proud of that.”

In the lead up to the federal election Mr Wilson made several funding pledges contingent on a Bill Shorten government: $1 million music hub at Fremantle Arts Centre, $5 million urgent care clinic at Fremantle hospital, $2 million car park at North Fremantle train station and thousands of dollars for other community initiatives. These are now in doubt.

Liberal and Labor both committed to a new Fremantle traffic bridge, so that funding is relatively secure.

Shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese, an active supporter and friend of Mr Wilson, is set to enter the race to become the next leader of the Labor party.

The Chook contacted Mr Wilson’s office to ask if he would support Mr Albanese’s leadership bid, but they didn’t get back to us.

Ben Morton’s success in hanging onto Tangney for the Liberal party looked a cracker with a 5.6 per cent jump in his primary vote, but that’s tempered by the fact that dumped former MP Dennis Jensen had contested the seat as an independent in 2016 and took 11 per cent of the vote.

Marion Boswell increased Labor’s primary vote 2.8 per cent but lost ground overall thanks to Mr Morton getting preferences from One Nation and the United Australia Party.

by KAVI GUPPTA

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