Jacobs holds Eyre

Narrow victory: Liberal member for Eyre Graham Jacobs and Premier Colin Barnett campaigning in Esperance during the lead-up to the March 9 state election.
Narrow victory: Liberal member for Eyre Graham Jacobs and Premier Colin Barnett campaigning in Esperance during the lead-up to the March 9 state election.

LIBERAL incumbent Graham Jacobs has narrowly retained the seat of Eyre by 125 votes, fending off a strong challenge from WA Nation als' Colin de Grussa.

The contest for the lower house seat of Eyre went down to the wire, with counting continuing through all last week. The result was finally announced on Saturday, following a recount by the Western Australian Electoral Commission.

Mr de Grussa enjoyed a narrow lead after preferences over Dr Jacobs for most of last week.

However, postal and absentee votes turned the tables in the race, with Dr Jacobs pulling ahead of Mr de Grussa on Thursday.

The final count after the full distribution of preferences was 7203 (50.44 per cent of the two candidate preferred vote) to 7078 (49.56 per cent).

Dr Jacobs outlined his objectives for his next term and congratulated the Nationals on their campaign. "My primary vote has helped us fairly well during the week with the preferences making it a tight call," Dr Jacobs said.

"I believe it is important to be representative of the agricultural, mining and pastoral electorate in the new Liberal State Government and will ensure traction in all programs."

Dr Jacobs said that regional infrastructure development would be one of his priorities.

"The premier [Colin Barnett] has agreed that we will devote 25 per cent of all monies from mining royalties to the regions," Dr Jacobs said.

"There are some regional towns that still don't have deep sewerage, or have constant power outages and incorporating the royalty funds with department funding, we intend to deal to regional needs on priority including infrastructure, roads and rail.

"As for my aspirations for the Eyre electorate, I will be lobbying for funding for restoration of the Tanker Jetty infrastructure, development of the Pink Lake crossing to alleviate vehicle congestion and the completion of the State Barrier Fence."

Dr Jacobs also flag ged housing and health as two other areas of concern. "I will continue to work with the relevant departments to improve affordable housing in both the Boulder and Esperance regions ... and importantly, continue to address the doctor shortage issue in the whole region," he said.

"Much work has already been done for the region, but I know there is plenty more to do and am ready to work hard and do my best for the people of this region."

Mr de Grussa said that although his party failed to capture Eyre, the close result was still a positive for the Nationals and the Eyre electorate. "I am thrilled by the way our team performed and by the strong support we received from the community. Eyre is now a marginal seat and I think that's good for the people of Eyre," Mr de Grussa said.

"Considering what we were up against, we did very well to come so close.

"We had the other parties' preferences against us, we were listed at the bottom of the ballot paper and we were up against a popular incumbent."

Mr de Grussa said that the Nationals had managed to capture about 60 per cent of Labor voter preferences on election day, despite the ALP deciding to preference the Liberals ahead of the Nationals in Eyre.

"It shows that Eyre voters didn't like being told by people in Perth how to fill in their ballot papers," Mr de Grussa said.

The Liberals' victory in Eyre adds to the party's resounding electoral success across the state, with the Liberal Party winning enough seats to govern in its own right.