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Federal Election 2022: Swan’s Labor candidate Zaneta Mascarenhas defeats Liberal Kristy McSweeney

Former FIFO engineer Zaneta Mascarenhas has defeated her Liberal opponent Kristy McSweeney, making her the first woman to hold the seat of Swan in its 101 year history.

With 35 per cent of the vote counted, the Liberals had suffered a swing of 12.5 per cent against them in the crucial seat, with Ms Mascarenhas officially declared the new MP.

Liberal candidate Kristy McSweeney greets voters at Belmont Primary School.
Camera IconLiberal candidate Kristy McSweeney greets voters at Belmont Primary School. Credit: Ian Munro/The West Australian

The win in the marginal Perth seat formerly held by Liberal Steve Irons mirrored the anti-Liberal swing across Perth as Liberals’ hold on the State was decimated.

Ms Mascarenhas arrived at her function at a sports club in Cloverdale about 7.50pm to deliver her speech to more than 150 Labor faithful.

“It’s a pretty exciting moment,” she said. “I know that tonight the people of Swan have made me the first female to be elected as a representative.

“We believed in a better future.

“People say it’s time for change and a better future.

“I studied science and engineering.

“While this isn’t the typical skill set of a political candidate, I’m looking forward to learning about all the skills required to be a strong advocate for our community.”

In her speech she directed a special mention towards her two children, Felicity, 2, and Lincoln, 4.

“I’m going to become a FIFO mum. I want to work hard and make you proud. This was a really hard decision to make, but it’s because I want to get a future for you,” she said.

Zaneta Mascarenhas at Rivervale Primary School.
Camera IconZaneta Mascarenhas at Rivervale Primary School. Credit: Jackson Flindell/The West Australian

She said climate, tackling corruption, and advocating for WA would be her top priorities in government.

“We have an opportunity for Australia to become a renewable energy superpower. WA can be a part of that, mining can be a part of that. We can become a lithium valley. There are so many opportunities,” she said.

WA’s flip to a now Labor heartland only further cemented Anthony Albanese’s win.

Swan had been a Liberal-held electorate on a 3.2 per cent margin and was heavily courted by both major parties, with Labor pledging millions of dollars on local projects.

Similar to Pearce, which also saw a swing away from its historic Liberal vote, Swan was a fresh contest between two new faces with retiring MPs in the division. The final Newspoll before the election had predicted an Albanese win, and exclusive polling by The Sunday Times had also placed Swan ahead on a two-party preferred vote in Swan at 53-47.

The Swan division had slipped through Labor’s hands in the 2019 election.

The party had thought Hannah Beazley, with her famous family’s political dynasty headlined by former Labor leader Kim Beazley, could get them across the line, but they fell short to popular local Steve Irons. Ms Beazley — now a State MP for Victoria Park — was among those handing out how-to-vote cards for Ms Mascarenhas.

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