Colin Barnett is still the Premier of WA after a leadership spill motion was defeated in the Liberal party room this morning.
The motion was moved by Murray-Wellington MLA Murray Cowper and was prompted by the resignations of Transport Minister Dean Nalder and Local Government Minister Tony Simpson over the weekend.
But it was defeated 31 votes to 15 before MPs set about addressing the Barnett Government’s poor performance in recent opinion polls.
Mr Nalder said after the vote that he had no intention to challenge Mr Barnett again and congratulated the Premier on his victory, calling him “the captain of the team”.
“My role has always been to seek the best way forward for the liberal party,” Mr Nalder said.
“I’m looking forward to working with the government at making sure we give the Liberal government the best chances at the 2017 election.”
Mr Barnett said the discussion held in the aftermath of the spill motion had been “very therapeutic” and “overdue.”
“That happens rarely in politics where you have such an open and frank discussion,” he said.
“Some members were critical of me, some members were critical of each other and there were policy issues, a lot of factors raised. Dean had an opportunity to speak at length about his actions. I don’t think it could have been fairer or more open.”
Mr Barnett said he now looked forward to the state election.
“We have to show to the community that we are united, and we are. An election is six months away, we’ve done a lot of work on policy and there’s a lot of campaigning to be done,” he said.
Before the vote, Deputy Premier Liza Harvey stood firmly behind the Premier.
“The people who are defeated today need to stop the nonsense, allow us to get on with governing if we are going to beat Labor in March 2017,” she said.