Labor’s chances of securing a working majority in Western Australia’s Legislative Council have foundered after Liberal MP Simon O’Brien ruled out taking on the role of president .
After winning 41 seats in the 59-seat lower house, Labor has 14 seats in the upper house.
Assuming it has the support of four Greens – up from two – Labor will have half of the council’s 36 seats on its side.
To get a majority, Labor had hoped to talk Mr O’Brien, who was dumped from the ministry in 2013, into accepting the non-voting president’s position.
However late on Sunday Mr O’Brien told the ABC he wasn’t interested in becoming Upper House President and would never hand over a vote to Labor.
Political analyst Martin Drum says he expects Labor’s Kate Doust will take the role.
Mr Drum says the biggest surprise of the upper house results, which were finalised over the weekend, was Charles Smith of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation winning an East Metropolitan seat, given the minor party targeted regional seats.
It also emerged One Nation’s Robin David Scott won a seat for the Mining and Pastoral region.
The final results also delivered the Liberal Democrats their first win in WA, with Aaron Stonehouse securing an upper house seat for the South Metropolitan region, turfing out well known Greens MP Lynn MacLaren.
“They (Liberal Democrats) lucked out on the ballot paper draw – they got a nice spot and lots of Liberals voted for them by mistake,” Mr Bowe said.
He said it was ridiculous Labor had won government in a massive landslide but had a hostile upper house with several right-wing MPs voted in to represent the regions.
Labor would eventually want to introduce one-vote one-value into WA’s upper house because three-quarters of the state’s population lives in Perth but the seats are evenly divided between metropolitan and regional areas, he said.