North West Central a tight race between Vince Catania and Cherie Sibosado in a landslide WA state election

Headshot of Lisa Favazzo
Lisa FavazzoMidwest Times
Cherie Sibosado and Vince Catania’s election race is one of the tighest in the State.
Camera IconCherie Sibosado and Vince Catania’s election race is one of the tighest in the State. Credit: Lisa Favazzo/Tom Zaunmayr/Seven West Media

In a landslide election, the vast seat of North West Central — which covers parts of the Mid West, Pilbara and Gascoyne — is one of the hottest competitions in the State.

Both Labor’s Cherie Sibosado and Nationals’ Vince Catania are eagerly awaiting further counting, with final tallies either meaning regional representation at Premier Mark McGowan’s table — made enormous by this weekend’s election thumping — or a fierce advocate in opposition.

On a two-party preferred basis, Ms Sibosado is leading Mr Catania by 50.95 per cent to 49.05 per cent with just over 40 per cent of the votes counted.

Mr Catania is confident he will secure a win, saying many of the uncounted votes were from Carnarvon, where his popularity is irrefutable.

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At the time of writing, Mr Catania had secured 55 per cent per cent of votes in the Carnarvon Shire, where only 28 per cent of people had voted for Ms Sibosado.

“My primary vote has increased, but it's the Liberal vote that has lost. It’s had an impact on the preferences flowing to me,” Mr Catania said.

In 2017, Mr Catania’s primary vote was 35.3 per cent of the electorate. This morning, early results showed his vote sitting at 37.64 per cent.

“The Carnarvon vote will hopefully get me across the line comfortably... I think the end result will be at least a 2 or 3 per cent margin,” he said this morning.

He said he would have been a “fool” not to expect a tight race given the “Mark McGowan” effect. He added that he was looking forward to holding a McGowan Government, with an overwhelming majority, to account.

For the first-time candidate Ms Sibosado, the last few days have been enthralling. Going up against a strong incumbent, she expected the race to be tough.

Early this morning, she couldn’t contain her gratitude for all the North West Central residents who got behind her campaign.

“I am overwhelmed with the level of support given I am a new candidate and had such a short run. Let’s see what the day brings,” she said.

While Ms Sibosado had taken a hit in her home of Carnarvon, early results suggest she made a real impact in some remote areas, including Meekatharra, Onslow, Pannawonica, and Paraburdoo.

These small leads have equalled a slight majority of just under 200 votes, with 6,560 votes uncounted.

Ms Sibosado said she would get straight back on the horse next election in the event she loses, saying she would take on the challenge with new enthusiasm and experience.

“This will create a foundation and it was a bit of a launch pad. I will absolutely be looking at having another go at it,” she said.

If she wins, Ms Sibosado will be the first woman and first Aboriginal person to hold the seat in its 16 year history.

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