WA’s election results were well worth celebrating
By Liberty Cramer, Director, The Greens (WA)
What an incredible result! The last time we were gathered together in the Hyde Park Hotel was to watch the State Election results. This time we watched seat after precious lower house seat flip in a historic greenslide result for the Greens ‒ and the atmosphere was utterly euphoric. We’ve known for so long that truly engaging with the community on a grassroots level to share our message of political hope could bring radical change, and seeing the media and broader public finally in agreement feels just so special.
On election day our movement was out in force across the state, from Karratha to Albany and everywhere in between with voters so excited to hear about how in the balance of power we could tackle climate change, end the housing crisis, get dental and mental into Medicare ‒ and how we could make history by re-electing the first Aboriginal woman to represent WA in the Senate, Dorinda Cox.
We know elections are so much more than election day, and this massive effort was just the tip of the iceberg for our campaign with many of our lower house teams starting their federal election campaigns mere months after we finished the state election campaign. With the spectre of the pandemic hovering over their campaigns and feeling every weekend could be the last one where we were able to get out to people’s doors to engage with the community, teams pushed through record heatwaves to doorknock their hearts out. A huge and special thank you needs to go to all our candidates who took the big scary step of putting themselves out there, and the dedicated campaigners who were there arm in arm with them at every stage of their journey.
Together our hard work brought us a historic result in WA ‒ the highest Senate results we’ve ever seen in a regular half-senate election, finally landing on a tantalisingly close 0.9979 of a quota. We were able to very comfortably re-elect Dorinda to the Senate with a +2.45% upper house swing across the state. It was fantastic to hear at our WA all-in debrief how many people share the dream that at the next election instead of counting how many preferences we need to receive from other parties to keep our seat, we will hold it entirely in our own right and be the party distributing preferences to others. I can’t wait.
We enjoyed largely positive swings in the lower house too, with our vote up 0.88% on average. In several cases, including in hardworking key Greens seat Swan (+2.86%) our vote not only grew but our preferences helped the seat ‒ and the Government ‒ change hands. While we have a long road ahead before we can expect to see our very own Griffith, in elections to come we’ll be looking at future winnable seats like Perth who brought home our best lower house result of 22.16% (+3.79%) as we increasingly dream of those seats turning Green, not red! Our other two key seats, Fremantle (+2.14%) and Curtin (-4.93%), both worked extremely hard, with Curtin facing the unique challenge of being the only WA seat with a climate independent. Together with our Greens preferences independent Kate Chaney picked up Curtin, and we have an interesting three years ahead as we look to see whether or not the “teal independents” show themselves to be truly climate-minded, and see what their performance this year means for future elections. While all our key seats deeply deserve congratulations each in their own right, I want to acknowledge what a challenging election this was for Team Curtin and how hard they worked. With no climate independent in the upper house they had a fantastic result of 20.26% in the Senate (+3%)!
Whether you were someone who knocked on a door, called a voter, or put one of our letters or fliers in a letterbox; someone who worked or volunteered in the Greens (WA) office or MP offices and poured themself into this campaign; someone who got up at the crack of dawn on polling day to make sure our booths looked green and gorgeous; someone who showed up over and over again on that record turnout pre-poll; or someone who gave up their Saturday to hand out our how to vote cards ‒ thank you. Our movement could not have achieved these incredible results without you. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve, together, in the next election!
Header photo: Celebrating with Dorinda on election night.