Labor breaches Liberal stronghold in WA
Labor is recording strong results in Western Australia that could prove decisive to the election outcome.
The opposition will take the seats of Swan, Pearce and Hasluck from the Liberal Party, according to ABC projections, as vote counting continues late on Saturday. It is also ahead in the Liberal-held seat of Tangney.
The significant swing in the nation's west could be enough to help Labor govern in its own right, although a minority government remains a possibility.
High-profile independent candidate Kate Chaney is also waging a forceful challenge against her Liberal rival in the traditional Liberal stronghold of Curtin.
Labor has campaigned heavily in WA, with leader Anthony Albanese making four visits to the state since pandemic border restrictions were relaxed in March. The state has been a stronghold for Liberal federal governments ever since former Labor leader, Perth-born Kim Beazley, retired from politics.
Labor campaign volunteer Rebecca Doyle said she felt positive about the outcome in Swan, where Labor candidate Zaneta Mascarenhas leads her rival by a healthy margin with more than 50 per cent of the vote counted.
"The cost of living, climate change and transport were significant issues with the community," Ms Doyle said.
Labor Premier Mark McGowan said on Saturday that West Australian voters could decide the outcome of the election.
Ms Chaney, a so-called teal independent, says she will negotiate with the major parties should she win the contest in Curtin, a traditional stronghold for the Liberals.
"I would make a decision made on the issues, not on the tribe," she told Sky on Saturday.
"What I hear from voters in Curtin is that they're quite disillusioned with both sides and they really care about issues like integrity and climate and think that those issues are actually more important than who the prime minister is for the next three years.
"If my support is needed to form a minority government, I would negotiate with both parties and whether that is a formal or informal deal that can be part of the negotiation if it happens."
In NSW, Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman conceded the seat of North Sydney, paving the way for independent Kylea Tink to head to the House of Representatives.
Zoe Daniel (seat of Goldstein in Victoria) and Allegra Spender (Wentworth, NSW) are among several other independents on track to oust their Liberal rivals.